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Political Expert: Huether Has A Lot At Stake

November 8, 2011, 6:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Political Expert: Huether Has A Lot At Stake
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Will Sioux Falls' Mayor Mike Huether get to fulfill one of his campaign promises: to get a new multi-million dollar events center built for the city?

One political expert says Huether has a lot at stake in Tuesday's election.

While he was campaigning last year to be Sioux Falls' next mayor, then businessman Mike Huether vowed to come up with a financial plan to pay for an events center; one voters would buy into.

"I am going to work with the Sports Authority. I am going to work with the Chamber. I'm going to work with all of the people in Sioux Falls to present to you a plan or a proposal that will ultimately pass the mustard or the smell test of the people of Sioux Falls and then let's get the dang thing built," Huether said during a 2010 interview.

Augustana College political science professor Joel Johnson says if the events center is defeated, it will be devastating for the mayor. 

"It's high stakes for him.  I'm sure he hopes that the vote turns out, not just a squeaker in favor, but it's an overwhelming statement in favor of the events center," Johnson said.

Johnson doesn't think a defeat would ruin Huether's legacy as a mayor because he campaigned on other issues. But Johnson says Huether might have campaigned for an events center too hard during tough economical times. 

"I think there's always a danger in politics that when you really feel strongly about something, you're pushing your agenda very strongly, even if you make the best arguments possible with the best of intentions, there will always be some who will just react negatively to it," Johnson said.

Johnson says if the events center goes down to defeat, Huether would have a tough time getting one built during his tenure as mayor.

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