Press "Enter" to skip to content

House Guts SB 40, Prefers to Keep AG, SOS, Auditor, et al. off Primary Ballot

Senate Bill 40 was on its way to expanding democracy, giving South Dakotans the chance to vote at primary on candidates for all statewide elected offices. Alas, the House apparently hates democracy more than the Senate and has stripped all the good stuff from SB 40.

SB 40 would end the practice of nominating candidates for attorney general, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, commissioner of school and public lands, and public utilities commissioners at party conventions and instead require candidates for those august offices to circulate nominating petitions and face primary votes, just like candidates for Governor, Congress, and county offices. SB 40 as passed by the Senate last month also provides for gubernatorial nominees to select their own running mates instead of letting conventions nominate lieutenant governor candidates. Making LG one candidate’s pick is slightly less democratic than a convention vote, but opening those other six statewide offices offers outweighing democratic advantage. Besides, what’s the point of saddling a governor with a lieutenant who will just make trouble?

SB 40 is a mainstream Republican bill responding to the right-wing extremists who upset the apple cart at recent SDGOP conventions by nominating underqualified radicals instead of party favorites. The Senate is controlled by the party elites, but it barely passed SB 40 last month on an 18–16 vote. SB 40 made it out of House State Affairs Wednesday on an 8–5 vote. But then yesterday, Representative Jessica Bahmuller (R-19/Alexandria) took all the fun and democracy out of SB 40 by amending out all of the statewide elections and keeping only the provision granting LG pick fully to gubernatorial candidate. The House acceded to that change and approved the new and completely boring SB 40 on a 48–21 vote.

SB 40 has to go to conference committee, but the tight Senate vote on its earlier, more democratic form indicates there may not be much leverage for pro-democracy forces to restore the earlier fun provisions and put the AG, SOS, and other statewide officers on the primary ballot.


  1. jim 2023-03-03

    Why not us?

    Couldn’t this be done by initiative? I’d bet that voters would prefer to decide this issue for themselves, instead of letting radicalized conventions pick nominees.

  2. Matthew Monfore 2023-03-03

    Replying to Cory’s smear (Lord willing, there will be more 🙂 Luke 6.26)

    I had already addressed “ordination”. If he had done his homework, he would have seen…

    My response to Mr. Heidelberger 🙂

    “Hi Cory.

    [I hesitate to post this, as I think, “Oh, its just another hit job” and what do these spiritually dead people , care…but I’ll give it a shot]

    I just came across this article (my website was showing hits from here) Anyways, you can call me at 605 890 2604 (which I post on my website). I am a real preacher (probably more real than most, if not all, you have met). I preach the historical faith, repentance from sin (lust, anger, pornography, sex before marriage, homosexuality, greed, theft, etc), and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (who died, rose again, and gives eternal life to all who believe). We are saved from our sinful hearts (sin’s power) and our sinful records (judgment in eternal Hell). Perhaps you no longer care, and your heart is hard, but I sincerely do hope you trust in Jesus Christ- and the same as well to those reading this – especially before you die of course…

    And as to “legitimate ordination”, I posted a link on that on the website, citing Biblical and Historical examples of the school of thought I hold to. You can see that I hold to a historical Puritan Baptist/Brethren view of primary ordination coming from God Himself (as one of our famous forefathers, the 1800s Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon [who most Baptists admire, even if they don’t agree on everything], noted) Link 1.I also was in several churches that were/ had gone “liberal” in numerous ways/including the Bible school I attended. It would have been hypocritical for me to have them “Lay hands on me”, or to claim something from God they simply don’t possess (like being an actual converted Christian)…Anyways, God has made His calling and election sure. And no, we would never recognize your female wife as an elder/ “pastor” as that clearly has no warrant in Scripture… I also follow in the path of the famous missionary to China, Hudson Taylor. Link 2.

    I see you have been writing about me in other articles. AND I DO, appreciate a number of articles you have written, even if I don’t agree with you on other things.

    Another question came to my mind: “Why, out of the blue, does Cory want to attack me? Especially using the spring board of an article about handing out literature, and what news sources I recommend?” I have my theories…One of them involves a smear campaign by a liberal/leftist relative trying to get out of an assault case and a law suit…

    Anyways, I have no doubt you will be reading about me again, so put ‘er there Cory, it’s gonna be a ride.

    And I sincerely hope you and your readers escape the Hell that is duly reserved for you and your Democrat readership before it is too late…

    Psalm 52.2-7
    “2.You who practice deceit,

    your tongue plots destruction;

    it is like a sharpened razor.

    3You love evil rather than good,

    falsehood rather than speaking the truth. c

    4You love every harmful word,

    you deceitful tongue!

    5Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin:

    He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent;

    he will uproot you from the land of the living.

    6The righteous will see and fear;

    they will laugh at you, saying,

    7“Here now is the man

    who did not make God his stronghold”


    Matthew Monfore

    Link 1

    Link 2

    [editor’s note: I also typically don’t think of money, but others do. Most of my decisions to be as pure and true to Scripture have cost me $$$ money, time, and relationships; yet I do so joyfully for the advancement of God’s Kingdom and His precious blessing, In Jesus’ name, Amen.]

    Also, I used the NIV

  3. Arlo Blundt 2023-03-03

    An open, free swinging Primary for all Constitutional Officers makes sense to me. It may even rejuvenate the morbund Democrats. Party Conventions attract a very strange crowd, a mix of folks who have politics as a hobby, and folks with axes to grind. Let the people decide.

  4. Donald Pay 2023-03-03

    Regarding all these resurrected bills Cory has been blogging about: nothing is dead until sine die.

    Arlo is right: let the people decide.

  5. Curt 2023-03-03

    Actually, as Don Pay knows well from his days working as a lobbyist, the Rule states “It ain’t over ’til Sine Die”. That has not changed.

  6. grudznick 2023-03-04

    The environmental lobby, who lounge lazily on leather couches and scarf up the free finger foods hungrily, do not actually work.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-03-04

    So, Matthew, you are not actually ordained by any recognized theological institution, right? Do you have a master’s of divinity or any other degree from any institution of higher education?

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-03-04

    Jim, yes, putting all statewide candidates on the primary ballot could be done by initiative. If the Legislature fails to take this action, the people could do it.

    Of course, the SDGOP could take a page from G. Mark Mickelson’s playbook: if they can’t get enough votes in Pierre, they could form a ballot question committee and circulate an initiative petition.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-03-04

    Matthew, I don’t do smears or hit pieces. I just report the facts as presented from public records and statements and the analysis I’m able to apply.

    Anyone can preach any religion, but from the facts available, you appear not to be a legitimate ordained Christian pastor.

    Your political statements also indicate that you’re mostly full of crap. But then so are lots of people claiming they’re on a mission from God.

    But hey, you’re pastorly credentials aren’t the focus of the blog post in question. I am genuinely curious: why do you include The Dakota Scout in your otherwise dubious list of “real” news outlets? Why does Dakota Scout qualify while South Dakota Searchlight, SDPB, and Austin Goss of KOTA/KSFY do not?

  10. grudznick 2023-03-04

    Mr. H, you should make that measure be initiated before they outlaw initiating measures.
    If we pay my good friend Bob enough, he’ll tote it around, too. Libertarians like we won’t be affected very much.

  11. Donald Pay 2023-03-04

    Grudz, I rarely spent time in the lobby. I preferred to sit in chairs in the 4th floor gallery. Bill Dougherty spent time up there, too. You can actually hear the floor “debates” up there, which, as you know, is work. I would go down the third floor if I needed to touch base with a legislator. Most days, though, I’d go to the State Library or the Supreme Court Law Library to do some research. Yes, I did scarf up some finger food. There is a free lunch, and, rarely, a free breakfast.

  12. Bob Newland 2023-03-04

    Monfore is at least as legitimate as any other witch doctor.

  13. Mark Anderson 2023-03-04

    Matthew, I know your name comes before Mark in the good book but I have it from good authority that God apart from being divided in three has decided to transition. Are you in the Crown of Rejoicing? Its the best by far. My ministry card cost me 40 bucks, what did yours cost?

  14. jim 2023-03-05

    Mathew reminds us of:

    Psalm 52.2-7
    You who practice deceit, your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor. You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth. You love every harmful word.

    Mathew – let me guess – you cannot see that Donald Trump fits this description perfectly? He has all but one of the seven vices and virtually none of the virtues.

    But, but, but, he is pro-life, you say? Well, he certainly wasn’t a few years ago. I don’t believe he is pro-life now either. He is just using you. He is… “deceiving” you.

Comments are closed.