District 33 Candidates

Meet The Candidates

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Senate

You will be able to vote for one.

David Johnson

Republican
Business owner, Tree Nurseryman, Arborist, Commercial Pilot
Campaign Website
Campaign Facebook

Many local businesses continue to struggle amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. What programs or other actions would you support in the next six months to aid economic recovery?

South Dakota is a small-business state where economic survival is premised on stable restaurant and retail storefronts, robust agricultural operations, hotel/motel establishments, and other tourism and small business services.  Principled elected leaders must support and promote sensible public fiscal policy when managing the coronavirus relief funds, and their decisions must be based on valid science, factual evidence, and business common sense.

What do you believe is vital to promoting quality economic growth in western South Dakota?

We critically lack a strong workforce; it seems we have no clear community goal to attract young adults and families to our region.  I believe the first critical steps to drawing talented workforce individuals is by providing high-quality public education and by offering multiple affordable housing options.

What is your favorite Black Hills Area business to support?

Western SD’s primary commerce (tourism, hunting/fishing, recreation) and the entire region’s economic vitality hinges on a healthy national forest.  Private logging and timber products businesses are the only free-market industries capable of physically and efficiently protecting our Hills.  We must support our commerce partners who harvest forest products because they hold the sole, crucial key to sustaining our local natural assets and, therewith, our enviable quality of life here in the Black Hills.

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Ryan A. Ryder

Democrat
Attorney
Campaign Website
Campaign Facebook

Many local businesses continue to struggle amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. What programs or other actions would you support in the next six months to aid economic recovery?

It is finally being discussed at the state level - only this week - that small businesses will be eligible to receive a portion of the $400 million in CARES Act funding. This, combined with greater incentives and an overarching structure for safety (protective equipment, supplies, instructive techniques for re-opening or staying open) could be key factors for western SD businesses as we move out of the traditional tourist season and still face educational and production challenges. Different businesses will have different challenges (restaurants vs. hardware stores vs. hair care, etc.). Our legislators need to provide a consistent and coherent commitment to safety that will make consumers feel confident. Employees should know that they are are safe at these local jobs - both in terms of health and in terms of job security. Smart operating plans — versus a “whatever happens, happens” attitude — are the types of plans I would support.

What do you believe is vital to promoting quality economic growth in western South Dakota?

Let’s start with what we don’t need. We don’t need an absentee governor going on a presidential tour, and then spending $5 million of our federal coronavirus relief funds on a campaign,…ahem, tourism video. The tourism infrastructure is already there. What we need, is to address the pandemic, and to truly ensure that Western South Dakota is a safe place to visit: not leave visitors to watch spiking case numbers and “no mask” ignorance running in direct contrast to the “safely explore SD” message. And then, obviously, protecting the resources of the Black Hills - the trees, the aquifers and water, the cultural heritage. All of these naturally draw in visitors, who are customers to our businesses, and the lifeblood of our community. “Quality” economic growth also means investing in our schools - elementary through higher education institutions. Make this a place not just to visit - but to live and invest.

What is your favorite Black Hills Area business to support?

Local tree service companies, of course!

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House of Representatives

Taffy Howard (Republican, Incumbant) and Phil Jensen (Republican) did not return questionnaire. You will be able to vote for up to two.


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