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92-Year-Old Enjoyed State House Race

November 6, 2012, 6:35 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

92-Year-Old Enjoyed State House Race

Everyone in South Dakota had a pretty full ballot to fill out Election Day. But those in Watertown had one of the more unique races on theirs.

The District 5 South Dakota House of Representatives race, which had two available seats, had 92-year-old Dorothy Kellogg as a candidate.

Kellogg didn't intend to run. Democrats submitted her name to hold a place for another candidate. But a paperwork error caused them to miss the deadline to remove her name. So, the former legislator ran for office.

"I was going to be myself. I'm going to answer truthfully. I'm not going to put on any big stuff. I'm not going to spend a lot of money and that's what I've done," Kellogg said.

The assisted living center resident spent $116.16 on her campaign. She only ran one small newspaper ad twice. Her approach didn't cause her opponents, incumbent Republicans Melissa Magstadt and Roger Solum, to alter their campaigns.

"Meeting people and talking about the issues, talking about what we've been doing the last couple of years, talking about where we'd like to take it the next two years," Magstadt said.

And they still had their yard signs and other advertising in place as they had been planning for months.

The race was very clean. Of course, no candidate wants to be the one picking on grandma. But Solum says he would have expected that regardless of who was running for the office.

"I'd like to think we're better than that here. And I think that all of the candidates respect that. And so let's talk about the issues, who we are, what we've done, what we plan to do," Solum said.

Given her health, Kellogg wasn't sure on Election Day whether she'd be able to serve come session time. But she still hoped to win and said she doesn't regret the run for office.

"I don't know if I'll do it again. I'd rather doubt it. But I'm glad I did it this time," Kellogg said.

And if she changes her mind, the seat she's running for now would be up for grabs again when she's only 94 years old.

Since Kellogg was a legislator in the past, the candidates said this race had a feel of three incumbents running for two available seats.

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