SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Before voters even go to cast a primary ballot in the presidential election, Sioux Falls residents will be choosing several city council spots. This election is bringing an influx of money into city politics.
There are four seats becoming vacant this year and on the April 14 ballot: At-Large, Southwest, Northwest and Northeast districts.
The at-large seat is currently held by Theresa Stehly. She has not filed with the city clerk, as of Friday afternoon, to run again for her seat. The only candidate filed to run is Alex Jensen. In a recent report, Jensen’s campaign raised nearly $70,000.
He has some big donors including $10,000 from former South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s campaign, a who’s who of local business leaders, current city council member Christine Erickson, state lawmakers, South Dakota’s Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg and an aide to Gov. Kristi Noem.
For comparison, by the end of the mayoral election, now-Mayor Paul TenHaken raised nearly three times what Jensen has raised so far.
Jensen’s contributions are mostly coming from Sioux Falls, but he has a large percentage coming from outside of the city compared to the three others running in April, according to the campaign finance report.
The at-large seat represents the entire city.
The other races are in specific districts in the city. The only race so far with two candidates is for the northwest district. Incumbent Greg Nietzert is running against South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper and business owner Julian Beaudion. Nietzert has raised about $12,500 more than Beaudion.
Incumbent Marshall Selberg is currently the only candidate filed to run in the southwest district.
No candidate has filed for the northeast district. Currently, Pat Starr represents that district on the city council.
Candidates can begin circulating petitions on Jan. 31. The deadline to file is Feb. 28.
All seats in the state legislature are up for re-election. There are also going to be a variety of county commissioners, state attorneys, county corners and county treasurers.
Of course, the major race of the year is President of the United States. Incumbent Donald Trump is facing a few Republicans in the primary. Meanwhile, Democrats still have a crowded field to narrow down to a nominee.
South Dakota Primary election: June 2, 2020
Iowa Caucus: Feb. 3, 2020
Minnesota Primary election: March 3, 2020
General election: Nov. 3, 2020
KELOLAND News is following several Congressional races as well. Candidates have their next filing deadline in a few weeks.