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October 24, 2012 05:03 PM

McGovern Connection: Four Steves

There's a reason why a large crowd is expected, Senator George McGovern inspired a lot of people over his lifetime and some even into political careers.

Twenty years ago, we did a story featuring those four and as you're about to see, when it comes to the Democratic Party in South Dakota, it's all about 'Steve.'

Mitchell may be home to the world's only Corn Palace, but in 1993 aspiring careers were sprouting in the political field.

Four career politicians, who were all about the same age, all from Mitchell, all working for Democrats and all named Steve.

Steve Kinsella worked for Tom Daschle. Steve Hildebrand worked on a mayoral campaign in St. Paul. Steve Erpenbach was the executive director of the South Dakota Democratic Party and Steve Jarding worked for Nebraska Senator Bob Kerry.

"It's perhaps the oddest thing I've ever seen in my life," Jarding said.

All four gave credit for their enthusiasm to another Mitchell alum, George McGovern.

"I think the McGovern influence is possibly obvious on all four of us," Erpenbach said. "I remember an appearance at a major rally outside the Corn Palace and being there and getting the opportunity to shake McGovern's hand."

The Mitchell newspaper even made fun of the four in a tongue and cheek editorial followed by a cartoon of a Mitchell couple who wanted to name their newborn child Steve, except they were Republicans.

All four men have remained good friends and said at the time, they wouldn't be surprised their paths would cross again sometime on another political campaign.

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