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Steve Kirby Talks About Memories Of Bill Janklow

January 15, 2012, 10:00 PM by Jon Berg

Steve Kirby Talks About Memories Of Bill Janklow
Energized, determined and dedicated are just a few words Republican Steve Kirby used to describe former governor Bill Janklow.

"I've always wondered whether the people who came up with the ad concept of the Energizer bunny didn't get take it from watching Bill Janklow," Republican Steve Kirby said.

One of the things Kirby remembers most about Janklow was his determination to connect public schools to the 21st century, and get students connected to the internet.

"Bill saw that that could be done, he also saw that it could take years of looking for governmental funds or planning or he could just start wiring the schools, and that's what Bill did," Kirby said.

But Kirby says helping South Dakota's education system was just one of many things Janklow tried to undertake in his time as governor. Kirby says Janklow's work ethic lent itself to plenty of nicknames, including his personal favorite, the "crisis governor."

"He seemed to find that extra gear when it came to crisis where time was of the essence, people needed to move immediately, move now," Kirby said.

It's a trait that Kirby admired throughout Janklow's 16 years as governor, even when he and Walt Miller were running against him.

"In '94 I was lieutenant governor and then, governor Walt Miller ran against Bill and obviously we had a very spirited primary and Bill won that one, and we immediately started working for him to defeat his opponent at the time," Kirby said.

And out of all the years Kirby watched Janklow dedicate his life to the state of South Dakota, he remembers Janklow as the man who didn't care who got the credit, just as long as the job was done.

"While Bill was larger than life, while he was he seemed to be everywhere as much as we saw of him, there was a side that we didn't see where he was in action doing things for people, whether it was me coming up to a governor's event of some sort and my car broke down halfway to Pierre, and he sent the Highway Patrol to get me," Kirby said.

A governor whose energy, determination and dedication will be missed by the state of South Dakota.

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