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Smith Picks Fellow Legislator Keintz as Running Mate—Good Pick for Democrats, Women

Well, I guess I can’t blame Jennifer Kientz for deciding not to run for another term in the House. She’s got a bigger fish to fry—running for Lieutenant Governor!

Jamie Smith, campaign tweet, 2022.07.07.
Jamie Smith, campaign tweet, 2022.07.07.

Like Billie Sutton in 2018, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jamie Smith waited until the day before the South Dakota Democratic Party convention to announce his running mate. Unlike Sutton, Smith doesn’t have to work too hard to explain his choice. Sutton’s choice, Michelle Lavallee, was a first-time candidate who, until just before the convention, had been a lifelong registered Republican. While Lavallee complemented Sutton’s bipartisan image well, she darn near drew a floor challenge from Democratic delegates seeking a more proven Democrat for Sutton’s running mate.

Keintz should face no such challenge; the Democratic base knows her, as does Smith, who serves with her in the House. The Democrat from Eden has cast votes to stand against Republican stupidity in the House, like her vote to impeach killer Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg and her vote against Rep. Phil Jensen’s Ignore the Doctors, Take Horse Worm Pills! bill. She scored high, along with Smith, on the cannabis business lobby’s 2022 scorecard for marijuana legislation, a signal to the leafy-green vote still chafing under the current Governor’s assault on their reefer rights that a vote for Smith is a vote to protect cannabis freedom.

Of keen importance in the Alito Court’s enraging dystopia, Keintz’s pro-choice voting record is as solid as Smith’s impressive pro-woman, pro-liberty record (Keintz and Smith traded absences on 2021 HB 1051 and 2022 HB 1208; Smith got to vote against 2022 HB 1326 in committee before Keintz got the chance to add her likely nay). Two weeks after South Dakota’s trigger law demoted women to second-class citizens, Smith’s choice of Keintz sends a clear signal to voters with maternal capacity and voters who support moms and potential moms: Jamie Smith and Jennifer Keintz will protect your rights; Kristi Noem and Larry Rhoden will take them away.

Noem’s Hillsdale spokesboy Ian Fury calls Keintz “Kamala” and says she’s “the most liberal legislator in South Dakota.” Noem’s friends at CPAC actually disagree with that assessment, rating Rep. Shawn Bordeaux with the lowest lifetime conservative rating of any current legislator. But if by “liberal” Ian means “the opposite of heartless Kristi Noem and brute Larry Rhoden,” Smith and Keintz could take that sobriquet and run with it.

So fire up, Democratic base! You’ve got two Democrats at the top of your ticket! Now find an Attorney General and a Secretary of State!


  1. JO 2022-07-07 19:15

    Thanks for all that you provide in detailing all the updates on what decisions are made by the SD Legislators. Most of what is reported shows the ignorance of our GOP dominated state. There’s a ray of hope now.

  2. larry kurtz 2022-07-07 19:32

    And Ian Fury represents the extreme white wing of his political party. That Rep. Heintz scares those Earth haters makes me happy.

  3. grudznick 2022-07-07 19:45

    Mr. Rhoden is indeed a handsome brute, and one you wouldn’t want to have to endure a gut-punch from, but he’s really a gentle soul deep inside. He has always, I am sure, been very kind to both Mr. Smith and young Ms. Keintz. With Mr. Bourdeax, however, I’m sure there’s been some brutishness involved.

  4. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr., 2022-07-07 20:14

    Very excited about this ticket! It’s good to see two Democrats on the ticket. That’s only the third time that’s happen in the last five gubernatorial races going back to 2006.

  5. Arlo Blundt 2022-07-07 21:45

    The Democratic comeback has to begin with the counties bordering on Minnesota. Minnehaha is, of course, key to any revival and they have a very good chance there of achieving a majority. Lincoln’s more problematical but Democrats should do well in Clay, Union and maybe Yankton, depending on how Republican voters view Governor Noem’s political assassination of a local boy. The northeast border counties have a history of voting Democratic but Smith needs to run hard there…his Lt. Gov. nominee will help. He also needs to show up in the traditionally Democratic Bohemian Counties, full of traditional German heritage Catholics. Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Gregory and Brule. During the Kneip years they were dependably Democratic. Strong showings in those counties are indicative of a pendulum swing.

    The big challenge is the James River Valley, specifically Davison, Beadle and Brown. Winning one of the three is major progress on the way back. The West River is hopeless. He needs to hope he can get 40% of the vote in Lawrence and Pennington, and call it a day. And..I believe he will win Hughes. They’ve had enough of Governor Noem.

  6. Arlo Blundt 2022-07-07 21:52

    I should add that he will win the Reservations but the challenge there is turn out. There are potentially enough votes there to off set some of the other West River blood letting.

  7. Guy 2022-07-07 22:05

    Pennington & Lawrence Counties (Rapid City & Spearfish) will be the strongest showing in West River South Dakota for Jamie Smith and Brian Bengs.

  8. 96Tears 2022-07-07 22:21

    She looks, sounds and behaves authentic. Strong self-made business and farm background. Right location to run the gamut up and down I-29 and U.S. Highway 281. And nobody should forget how much those West River ranchers hated government control over the reproductive rights of their families’ women.

    No wonder Noem’s reaction was so cartoonish. Their over-the-top reaction tells me they are afraid of this ticket, as in they protest too much.

    Real South Dakotans against a nationalized cartoon image crafted to appease a national traitor and insurrectionist. This might get interesting.

  9. Loti 2022-07-07 22:37

    Go Jaime Smith! Gonna be praying you make it! We really need some normal people around, down to earth people who make sense. Wopila!

  10. Guy 2022-07-07 22:43

    Cory, Arlo, and 96Tears, Jennifer Keintz will be a great lieutenant governor. I can sense Ian Fury sincerely feels threatened by her by taking such a cheap pot shot at Jamie. But, it doesn’t surprise me, Ian’s job is on the line. Bring it on, Ian! Keintz will get plenty of support across the state, including West River. This is going to be a very strong state-wide ticket going into the Fall.

  11. Mary Fitzgerald 2022-07-08 13:55

    Lawrence and Pennington counties will overwhelmingly vote for Noem & Rhoden.

  12. Arlo Blundt 2022-07-08 14:25

    Mary–No doubt. Best Democrats can hope for is to lose 60-40% and build on that base in the future. But..would you like to wager on Hughes County…that’s where the horse race will be??

  13. 96Tears 2022-07-08 15:10

    Thank you, Mary, for stating the obvious, especially since Lawrence County is the only county to never support a Democrat for president. Nobody expects the Backwater Taliban Republicans to cross over. I think the Democrats have this one right with a popular elected leader with a strong ag background from the northeast on the ticket with a popular Democrat from the state’s largest population center (by quite a lot!). We’ll see what the independents and pro-choice Republicans do.

    Arlo, while it’s true Noem is the first Republican governor to lose Hughes County in God who knows when, they might vote for her this time. She isn’t in Hughes County long enough to know much about her. (Place smiley face emoji here.)

  14. Spike 2022-07-08 15:25


    Rhoden threatening a young east coast reporter doesn’t make him gentle deep soul inside.
    It makes him a trumper bully punk playing the crowd in my book.
    My offer for him to travel to Big Bat’s in Pine Ridge and threaten a few of those fellows with a gut punch stands. Some of those guys aren’t of the same mold as Shawn Bordeaux fyi..
    One of the top no class moves I have ever seen from your man crush. And you seem to revel in it as you continue to bring it up ad nauseam.

    The reservations have voters that don’t vote. Probably around 30k state wide non-voters in the end. The repubs threw Barnett out from the fear that he might help everyone vote. Shame on him for that.

  15. Arlo Blundt 2022-07-08 15:37

    96 tears–Hughes County residents take great pride in having a Governor who lives full time in Pierre, who is seen on the sidewalks and in the cafes in town, who recreates on the river and sends his kids to the local schools…Kneip (who was a common site around town), Janklow (who became a home town boy..Friends of Bill Janklow were legion in Pierre) Rounds and Mickelson (native sons) were all very popular with Pierre residents. Governor Noem has gone out of her way to offend the citizens of Pierre. All Smith has to do to endear himself is to promise he’ll live in Pierre and take down the fence.

  16. larry kurtz 2022-07-08 17:47

    Mrs. Fitzgerald’s gloating is a death knell for my home state.

    The 2002 closure of the Homestake mine sealed the exodus of union miners to Nevada and Arizona erasing the Democratic base from the northern Black Hills and much of Rapid City. But today South Dakota is dumbing down requirements for math teachers because graduates flee the state where the SD Republican Party ridicules educated people and even threatens funding for public broadcasting. Now, scientists and scholars are repopulating Lawrence County making ripples likely to test anchored Republicans.


    “Republicans today are much less likely than their predecessors in 1975 to have confidence in science. Meanwhile, Democrats today have more confidence than their fellow partisans did in the past.”

  17. larry kurtz 2022-07-08 17:55

    Mrs. Fitzgerald purports to be a friend of education but her actions and votes in South Dakota’s demonic legislature tells us she’s not telling educators the truth.

  18. larry kurtz 2022-07-08 18:12

    The Hamsters are the cleansed Hells Angels Motorcycle (HAM) club. They’ve bought so much West River property since 1994 I’ve lost track. Mrs. Fitzgerald’s husband was rejected as AG by his own party for a pliant, compromised killer willing to keep it all secret.

  19. larry kurtz 2022-07-08 18:29

    I haven’t seen Wharf from Terry Peak since 2015 and it was horrific then.

    “Wharf payroll in 2021 was $28.8 million with benefits and approximately $20.1 million without benefits. Approximately 54% of employees reside in Lawrence County; 28% reside in Meade County; 10% reside in Butte County; 6% reside in Pennington County; and 2% reside in Custer County.

  20. larry kurtz 2022-07-08 18:34

    I just sent $100 to the South Dakota Democratic Party because hope is the last thing to die.

  21. Arlo Blundt 2022-07-08 19:16

    Larry–doing the same…very aware of outlaw biker property purchases throughout northern Hills. Meth money. Nobody is watching…they are hand in glove with the political hierarchy in the Hills. Wharf is a tragedy…used to visit that area in the 70’s. They are putting a mountain through a rock crusher.

  22. larry kurtz 2022-07-08 19:59

    Rep. Fitzgerald’s appearance here is not an accident; she’s a whistleblower with an axe to grind telling us that Pierre is broken — an irreparable cess pool stirred and shaken by the South Dakota Republican Party.

  23. larry kurtz 2022-07-08 20:30

    It’s not just the sprawl carpeting the Hills that concerns Rep. Fitzgerald it’s the impending drone of sex, drugs and biker tax revenue that drives her maddening party. Freedom, Trump
    and the American rape of holy lands for ever and ever, amen.

  24. larry kurtz 2022-07-08 20:59

    Remind us, Rep. Fitzgerald how your husband is in line for a seat on the state’s highest court for keeping his nose from South Dakota’s dynasty trust industry.

  25. grudznick 2022-07-08 21:27

    Hey Lar, next time you and I dine at The Boars Nest remind me to have my fellow drive us up the road to the Peak named after Terry so we can gaze at the Scortched and Mutilated earth below. It’ll make you wretch.

  26. leslie 2022-07-08 23:06

    grzd is a racist fundamentally and he has been spreading it here for the ten years that I am aware. Blog policy is “anonymous comments of remarkable wit, intelligence, or verifiable newsworthiness.”

    when you call him out he calls you a radical libbie hater.

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