sioux falls, sd
If his name sounds familiar, you are not mistaken. Mark Mickelson came out on top in the District 13 House race with almost 54 percent of the vote. He is one of two Republican candidates who will advance to the November ballot.
Born George Mark Mickelson, this candidate knows his last name probably helped.
"At some doors, it sure did," Mickelson said.
His grandfather, George T. Mickelson, and his father, George S. Mickelson, both served as governors for South Dakota, branding the name as a political legacy.
"My father has impacted my outlook on things and kind of what I am passionate about in terms of economic development and giving our kids the opportunity to do anything from here," Mickelson said.
He said he is not just relying on his gene pool as he dives into politics because he feels his experience sets him apart from the other advancing Republican candidate, Steve Westra. Westra received almost 26 percent of the primary votes.
Mickelson said voters saw his goals for creating more economic development and more better-paying jobs as promises to cast their ballots for.
"I think people saw someone who was working real hard. That was committed to the effort and has been involved in a lot of things, and has had a lot of experience that should be able to help at a policy level in state government," Mickelson said.
Family name or not, this candidate feels he has made a name for himself that will stand on its own come November.
"It feels like something we put a lot of time and work into preparing for and it's very gratifying to see people took the time to go vote. We appreciate that," Mickelson said.
As for the fellow District 13 candidate, Westra said he is also focused on economic development, keeping taxes low to encourage new businesses and more jobs.