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Washnok Campaigning to Replace Novstrup in District 3 Senate Seat

I’m sure Al Novstrup approves of this message:

Newly hired Aberdeen Development Corporation lobbyist, motorcycle builder, and longtime Brown County Republican Party leader Katie Washnok has announced her candidacy for the District 3 Senate seat currently occupied by Aberdeen/Sioux Falls go-kart king and election denier Al Novstrup.

Motorcycle versus go-kart—that’s got to go into the next campaign video.

Washnok fires three missiles at Camp Novstrup. In her campaign launch video a series of “problems that could find solutions with the right people working together at the state level.” She capitalizes and underlines right on the screen to emphasize that Senator Novstrup is the wrong people, as evinced by his failure to pass anything useful for himself or Aberdeen during the 2023 Session. Washnok says she will make District 3’s interests her top priority—again, top gets all caps and an underline—alluding to Novstrup’s obsession with pushing bills that boost his own business, skips Session to attend a fancy go-kart conference in Texas, and spends much of his summer absent from Aberdeen as he runs his go-kart palace in Sioux Falls. Finally, Washnok looks right into the camera, with no overlying text, and says, “It’s time to bring a new voice and fresh ideas for the people of District 3.” That’s what I said when I ran unsuccessfully against Novstrup in 2016 and 2018, and that’s a gentler translation of the “pale, stale, and male” leveled on Al last year by the SDGOP spin blog, which dedicated its Friday blogging to boosting Washnok’s announcement.

Novstrup got catty to beat back the Republican mainstream’s assault on his perennial electoral inertia last year. But Republicans hitched their no-more-Al wagon to political newcomer Rachel Dix, who pulled 41% of the primary vote. Washnok has years of experience and connections within the Republican ranks—not to mention cool motorcycle photos— to help Washnok close the 18-point gap and relieve District 3 of the incredible lightness of being represented by a nobody in Pierre.

James and Katie Washnok on the motorbikes Lewie and Pearl—photo posted in Kathy Jensen, "Aberdeen Couple Part of Motorcycle Family Reunion in Sturgis," Aberdeen American News, 2015.08.06.
James and Katie Washnok on the motorbikes Lewie and Pearl—photo posted in Kathy Jensen, “Aberdeen Couple Part of Motorcycle Family Reunion in Sturgis,Aberdeen American News, 2015.08.06.


  1. Nix 2023-09-02 09:28

    It’s time for a new haircut.
    Maybe a little lipstick……

    Good luck, goodbye and good riddance.

  2. P. Aitch 2023-09-02 10:30

    By golly. The spirit of President Reagan weighs in.
    My fellow South Dakotans,

    In the spirit of liberty and sound conservative principles, I stand before you today to endorse a candidate who embodies all that we hold dear. Katie Washnok is a woman of integrity, determination, and a true servant of the people. She is ready to challenge the status quo and breathe new life into our great state.

    We find ourselves at a crucial juncture, where the voice of the people yearns for representation that reflects their values. Katie Washnok understands this, and she has the vision to lead us towards a brighter future.

    Throughout her life, Washnok has demonstrated unwavering commitment to her community, the state of South Dakota, and the principles that make our nation exceptional. Her unwavering dedication to public service has been present in every aspect of her life, and she has tirelessly fought for the rights and prosperity of her fellow citizens.

    Washnok’s steadfast belief in limited government and fiscal responsibility resonates deeply with the values held dear by South Dakotans. She understands that empowering individuals through economic growth and reducing burdensome regulations is the key to unlocking our true potential. By championing the cause of small businesses, she will create an environment where job opportunities flourish, and our economy soars to new heights.

    One of the most crucial aspects of a successful representative is their ability to listen to and truly understand their constituents. Katie Washnok excels in this aspect, as she actively engages with the people she aims to represent. She hails from the heartland of South Dakota, and her connection to the land, its people, and their concerns is genuine and strong.

    We face numerous challenges, from education to healthcare, and from infrastructure to public safety. But with Katie Washnok at the helm, we can be confident that these challenges will be met head-on, with pragmatism and a focus on solutions, rather than partisan bickering.

    In the upcoming election, we have a choice. We can choose to stay within the confines of the status quo, or we can embrace a fresh perspective – a perspective represented by Katie Washnok. Let us stand united and empower Washnok to bring forth the positive change we so desperately need.

    Join me in supporting Katie Washnok for the South Dakota State Senate in District 3. Together, we can pave the way to a brighter tomorrow, where the principles of freedom, opportunity, and limited government prevail.

    God bless you all, and God bless the great state of South Dakota.

    Ronald Reagan’s Spirit

  3. jkl 2023-09-02 11:56

    Do those bikes have nitrox injection?

  4. Charlotte Mayson 2023-09-02 12:50

    I believe Al is termed out and will have to run for the house. Katie will be running against Carl Perry, most likely. Katie ruined the BC GOP. The monthly meetings are poorly attended and she’s not well liked by conservative Republicans.

  5. All Mammal 2023-09-02 16:37

    KN instilled a rational fear of republican women in many. But when it comes down to a variety of republicans, are you less damned to not vote for the dangerous pretty one? Or more damned if you elect the club foot with a Renaissance pageboy haircut? I’m biased and always lean towards my ladies running the show. As long as she’s not KN. Or Hucklebee.

    Hopefully Ms. Washnok does well for SD.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-09-02 17:51

    2016, 2018, 2020, 22… Yup! That’s four terms! But if Al plans to switch houses again, Katie has shut the door for Carl or Brandei to switch to Senate, and neither Carl nor Brandei are term-limited in the house. So what’s all going to do?

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-09-02 17:55

    And “ruined the BC GOP”? How so? Washnok led the party through a period of great success, beating any Democrats, who dared run against their anointed candidates in the legislature, and on the city Council. It seems to me Washnok did a pretty good job of running the party. What’s there to complain about her leadership? What specific errors did she commit while leading the Brown County Republican Party?

  8. Bob Newland 2023-09-02 19:10

    Washnok is probably not great. Being better than Al is a default position.

  9. grudznick 2023-09-02 21:48

    Mr. Novstrup, the elder, is a burr under Mr. H’s short trousers.

  10. DR 2023-09-05 08:43

    If Al runs for the house and wins, and Katie wins the senate, this will set up a primary battle for the ages in 2026. Lots of money will pour in for that one. I will get my popcorn for that show.

    Go Katie!

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