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January 12, 2012 07:03 PM

Professional, Personal Memories Of Janklow


Longtime Republican Minnehaha County Commissioner Carol Twedt knows the Janklow family both professionally and personally.

She says because of Bill Janklow's larger-than-life personality, people didn't always see how good he was at bringing people together to work for a common goal.

Twedt first met Janklow nearly 30 years ago when she was working for Jim Abdnor and Janklow ran against him in the Republican Primary. She says later as a Minnehaha County Commissioner, he worked with her on numerous projects, like the Coliseum remodel.

"Often times, people think of Bill Janklow as a person who wanted to just do things and get them done by himself. But that's not the kind of person he really was. He was a strong alliance and partnership builder," Janklow said.

Twedt says while not everyone knew the real Bill Janklow, she has an example of what was important to the governor from when President George Bush visited the state in 1994.

"Bill Janklow did not take President Bush to one of our swell places. He took him to our feeding ministry at the Banquet while people were eating dinner. That's where he wanted to take President Bush," Janklow said.

And while Janklow was known for his sometimes abrasive personality, Twedt points out his humility.

"He really was a statesman that will be remembered for years in South Dakota, but he still wanted to be a private person. He didn't want his portrait to hang with all the governors. What an interesting man. It wasn't about him. It was about doing things for the state of South Dakota," Twedt said.

Twedt has formed a life-long friendship with Janklow's wife, Mary Dean, and calls the former governor a great family man and friend.

"Today we lost Bill Janklow and it's hard to believe because he had a larger than life presence. And he'll be remembered for big things like bringing the banking industry into the state, or wiring the school back in the day when most of us didn't know what the Internet even was. It's the little things people who knew him will remember," Twedt said.

Twedt says she knows that Janklow was able to make peace with himself before he died over the fatal crash that ended his political career.





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