A sketch of the state, South Dakota.

Hello Mt. Rushmore State! While you only have one candidate to vote into Congress this election year, you should still look to voting eco-friendly for South Dakota! To learn more about Sustainable Politician Project, read our full intro here.

Voting in South Dakota

South Dakota’s law lets the political parties choose the poll type. Typically, the democratic party is semi-closed, meaning if you are registered with a party other than the democratic party, then you can’t vote for a democratic candidate. If you are registered with the democratic party or have no party affiliation, you can vote for a Democrat. For the other political parties, the poll type is closed, meaning you must be registered with the political party of the candidate you intend to vote for. The primary is on June 5 and the top candidates must receive at least 35% of the vote. If no candidate reaches 35%, then a runoff election is held on August 14.

Things on the ballot this year: U.S. Representatives, governor, other state executives, State Senate, State House, State Supreme Court, school board, and ballot measures. You will not be voting for U.S. Senate this year.

U.S. House of Representatives

South Dakota is not split into multiple districts. It is considered a district at-large, meaning only one congressperson represents the whole state. As the number of representatives that go to Congress from a state is based on its population, this means that South Dakota does not have as big of a population as states with more than one representative.

District At-Large

Oh boy, South Dakota! Some of your candidates are terrible when it comes to the environment and sustainability. There is only one who stands out, and that is only because his views on environmental issues are unknown for the most part. Make sure you check out the views of the candidates on a bunch of issues to make sure they are who you want to vote for.

Timothy Bjorkman
  • Democrat
  • Former state court judge
  • Practiced law in Bridgewater, South Dakota
  • Supports family farmers instead of corporate agriculture

Okay y’all, there are not really any great candidates, but Bjorkman is the best of those options simply because he does not give a lot of information on his website or any other website on what he thinks about the environment and sustainability. He does state that he supports family producers as opposed to corporate agriculture, which could help the massive amount of greenhouse gas that big corporate farms produce and prevent water contamination from livestock run-off, which industrial farms over-produce. It also helps with building local economy, which is a plus. Bjorkman also has some good views and some not so great views on other issues, but, ultimately, it’s going to be up to you to do some research and decide which candidate represents your views the best.

Other Candidates:

Dusty Johnson (R) – businessman and former chief of staff to Governor Dennis Daugaard, “will be an advocate for a productive, strong agriculture in South Dakota,” wants to limit regulation by the federal government (we know what that means…)

Shantel Krebs (R) – South Dakota Secretary of State since 2014, will not promote increased use of alternative energy and will not increase funding for South Dakota’s power generating and transmission facilities, thinks the reason for climate change is unknown (ugh, come on Shantel!!), wants less regulation for farms (aka hello toxic pesticides) (source).

Neal Tapio (R) – South Dakota State Senator since 2016, legitimately said, “For the last decade, public schools have pushed a ‘green agenda’ which demonizes the coal and energy industry and criticizing any efforts to oppose left wing climate change legislation.” (*rolls eyes so hard they fall out of head*) (source).

George Hendrickson (Libertarian) – runs his own maintenance service business, supports legalizing marijuana, promoted a video on his Facebook page that claimed climate change is a hoax (…) (source).

Ron Wieczorek (Independent)

Categories: 2018 PrimaryStates

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