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February 16, 2013 10:00 PM

District 6 Paving The Way In Pierre

Harrisburg, SD

We're a third of the way through the 89th legislative session in Pierre and now one new district with all freshman legislators holds their first legislative coffee.

District 6 was formerly apart of district 10 and now covers Harrisburg, Tea, Lennox and some of the southern part of Sioux Falls.

Senator Ernie Otten and Representative Herman Otten not only share a political part and seat in district 6, but they also have the same blood line.

"Ernie and I both have a lot of interest in representing our area," Herman said.

"I actually had it in my head when we were first going up there that we were going to have time a couple times a week and we could go over bills. That just doesn't happen," Ernie said.

The cousins are two of the three lawmakers representing district 6 for the first time in Pierre. They say that it is an honor to pave the way for the area.

"There are some days you walk in there and you are overwhelmed with emotion because most of the folks here that you see are folks I grew up with," Ernie said.

"I'm a lifelong resident of Tea," Herman said. "And in Lincoln County, our family has been here forever and I believe it was very important when they redistrict to give the northern part of Lincoln County their own vote and their own voice at the state legislature."

And while being a freshman legislature may feel overwhelming at times, both Ottens say they are starting to fully understand the power their voice carries in Pierre.

"It's been a good experience and I think that I will take next year even better," Ernie said.

Rep. Issac Lattell is also a part of district 6. He was unable to attend Saturday's coffee.

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