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Youngberg Bails, Cedes School and Public Lands Nomination to Greenfield

In another right-wing announcement suspiciously timed to come right after the primary, former District 8 Senator Jordan Youngberg announced yesterday morning that he is canceling his campaign for Commissioner of School and Public Lands and endorsing the only other declared candidate, occasionally drunk-on-duty but sham-shielded Senator Brock Greenfield:

“I just want to concentrate on hanging out with my kids now,” said the 31-year-old Madison man who in February 2021 became the first to enter the race for the seat. “It’s more fun than any committee meeting I’ve ever been at.”

…”Me and Brock have been friends and we’re going to continue to be friends,” he said. “I recommend that anybody who was supporting me should support Brock” [Joe Sneve, “Former Lawmaker Drops out of Schools and Public Lands, Leaving Greenfield Lone GOP Candidate,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2022.06.08].

Now for some rank speculation:

I have to wonder if maybe something happened on primary night—or didn’t happen—that dropped Youngberg’s chances of securing the nomination at convention below his threshold of risk tolerance. The leak of the secret Senate caucus transcript that revealed Senate leaders arranged a sham hearing to protect Greenfield and the party from disgrace over Greenfield’s drunken revels before the final gavel of the 2020 Session could have been used by savvy political operatives to punish Greenfield and give pro-Youngberg delegates and committeepeople a leg up in primary voting. There were 118 such primary battles for voting seats at the Republican convention coming up June 23–25 in Watertown. But the caucus leak didn’t appear to make waves in the primary, and the easy breezy victories of the establishment Republicans in the statewide races, coupled with the stalemate between the Schoenbeck mainstreamers (of whom we may reasonably consider Greenfield a member) and the mugwumpy right-wingers (and Youngberg’s early departure from the Legislative club and from employment with state government might suggest we’d find his tent and Yeti cooler in that latter camp), suggests the SDGOP status quo, at least power-wise, isn’t changing much. Greenfield is the more status quo candidate. Maybe Youngberg had hitched his wagon to hopes that Tuesday’s primary might shake up the powers that be and open a path for him to upset Greenfield to win the nomination. The only shake-up in Tuesday’s primary was the resounding defeat of Amendment C, even among Republican voters; primary participants appear to have left the power dynamic within the South Dakota Republican Party mostly in place.

And Youngberg has apparently decided that power dynamic does not have room for him at this time.


  1. grudznick 2022-06-09 20:26

    Well, Mr. H, grudznick feels like you’re just trying to stir up some story that’s not adhering to Mr. Occam. Most people in the know understood that Mr. Youngberg was going to bail, and that Mr. Brock had been anointed months ago.

  2. Anne Beal 2022-06-10 06:15

    Jordan had not been seen at the state central committee meetings, the the county & auxiliary organizations’ luncheons, or any of the Lincoln Day Dinners. Those are the events at which the delegates can be found and their votes courted, and he wasn’t there. We all knew he wasn’t running.

  3. leslie 2022-06-10 06:29

    The Jan 6 committee hearings are showing the dumbing down effect the known grifter/con Trump has had as leader of the GOP. The Republican party has embraced these criminally corrupt patterns of behavior too. Is it not clear this has also occurred at the state level in the SD GOP?

  4. Bob Newland 2022-06-10 08:54

    Anyone who has ever been near Greenfield knows he’s dumber than a box of garden slugs. Just the person we want administering state lands.

  5. larry kurtz 2022-06-10 10:33

    Does Mr. Greenfield have a mate or is he an incel like Mr. Ravnsborg?

  6. Algebra 2022-06-10 10:49

    leslie, actually the Jan 6 committee hearing reminded this old fart of the trial of the Chicago 7.
    Prosecuting people for what they were thinking (or tweeting) might make for good entertainment but doesn’t hold up well under the scrutiny of history.
    But if the 800+ people who have been charged for their participation in the riot want to try the Nuremberg Defense, they have Liz Cheney on record declaring Trump made them do it. So they are blameless. They were just following tweets. Cheney said so.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-10 14:17

    Mr. Greenfield does have a spouse. I wonder what will happen if he decides, like Youngberg, that he’d rather make offspring and spend time with them rather than continuing his employment on the public dole.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-10 14:19

    [The Jan 6 hearing is important, but let’s try to stick to the topic a little better here. If you can show me that the Jan 6 testimony, Cheney’s statements, etc. help explain Youngberg’s quitting the race, by all means, do so.]

  9. Arlo Blundt 2022-06-10 14:57

    Well…The post at School and Public Lands is about as obscure as any in State Government…I dare say not one in 20 people working in Pierre could locate the office of the School and Public Lands Commissioner. The Office was established by William Henry Harrison Beadle (a Yankton lawyer who was on the committee writing the first State Constitution) who had seen public lands abused and sold for peanuts in other states and wanted to prevent that from happening in South Dakota. He also wanted School sections and various other state lands (mostly former federal land reverted to the state)to form a “land trust” to fund public schools for impoverished settlers. School and Public Lands are scattered sections which are mostly leased for grazing. The proceeds result in less than 1% of school district budgets. Any time efficient government advocates have sponsored constitutional amendments to abolish the office, it has been defeated at the polls. Voters like having a Commissioner of School and Public Lands. It can be a very secure job, if you want a career in State Government…Bernard Linn was elected to that office for 13 consecutive terms in the 40’s and 50’s.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-10 16:03

    Such an obscure office is the perfect place to stash Brock Greenfield away for eight years, a nice little sinecure and consolation prize for Lee Schoenbeck’s dismantling of his and mom Lana’s safe District 2.

  11. Lynn 2022-06-10 20:19

    Algebra, are you actually comparing the prosecution of the Chicago 7 with the Insurrection committee hearings? Wow! That’s a major stretch. And I’m very old too.

  12. leslie 2022-06-11 13:33

    “Whack-a-Doodles Resist: Schoenbeck Purge Doesn’t Produce Big Results; and,

    Manhart Ends Illegal Candidacy, Denies Crime as “Negativity and Misinformation”, Times Withdrawal to Allow GOP Replacement on Ballot; and,

    4 out of 12 of Noem’s Legislative Endorsees Survive GOP Primary; and,

    Bengs: Corruption Comes from One-Party Rule;

    taken together these say to me…

    what John said: “ The fascists and anti-democracy cabal remain dangerous”

    and, what Cory said: “ Manhart resorts here to the fundamental Trumpist dodge: portray plain facts and law as mere “negativity” and “misinformation[”];

    and, “about replacement, he means exactly what Tucker Carlson and the Buffalo murderer mean.”

    Finally, “Bengs says he hopes to help reorganize Democratic county parties across South Dakota. He says one-party rule is bad for the state.—It engenders corruption and it gives a free pass for people to do some things that are shady that wouldn’t fly in a situation where there was a competitive environment.”

    Liz Cheney has the most important position in the legislature. She is a hard core conservative responsible for the damage Trump has wrought. She is playing the long game of power, just like Thune and McConnell. She is dangerous.

    The SD legislature is naively mimicking, sometimes preceding the GOP’s power policy. It’s ONLY policy.

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