See who got the money: Campaign finance snapshots from seven S.D. Senate primaries

Capitol News Bureau
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NOTE TO READERS: For a list of all of the candidates in South Dakota’s various elections this year, or for a look at all of the campaign-finance reports for candidates and committees, go to the South Dakota Secretary of State main website, where there are links.

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Bigger spenders don’t always win South Dakota’s elections — Mike Rounds proved that in his upset of two-better financed candidates nearly two decades ago to win the Republican nomination for governor — but money often does matter. Here’s a look at the money being reported in some of the higher-profile contests in Tuesday’s legislative primaries.

District 6 Senate Republican

Senator Ernie Otten, R-Tea, is term-limited* and is running for a seat in the House. Two House members, Representative Herman Otten of Lennox and Representative Isaac Latterell of Tea, are competing for the Republican nomination, with the winner facing Democrat Nancy Kirstein of Lennox in November.

Herman Otten reported raising $14,370 through early May, including large contributions from several prominent Republicans: $1,000 from the Daugaaurd for Governor committee, $2,500 from the Mickelson for House committee, $250 from Senator Deb Soholt’s committee, $1,000 from Mark and Cynthia Mickelson of Sioux Falls, $1,000 from Dana Dykhouse of Sioux Falls, and $2,000 from Kevin and Laney Schieffer of Sioux Falls. Otten also reported $4,150 from various political action committees including $1,000 from South Dakota Retailers and $750 from South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations. He came into the contest with $14,985 in his campaign account and showed a balance of 16,493 as of mid-May. 

Latterell reported raising $5,100 through early May including a $5,000 loan he made to his committee and $100 of unitemized donations. He came into the contest with $3,545 in his campaign account and showed a balance of $5,601 as of mid-May.

 District 14 Senate Republican

Senator Deb Soholt, R-Sioux Falls, is term-limited* and isn’t seeking election to another office. Representative Larry Zikmund of Sioux Falls and David Zellmer of Sioux Falls are competing for the Republican nomination to face Democrat Timothy Reed of Sioux Falls.

Zikmund reported raising $7,550 through early May, including $500 from Dana Dykhouse of Sioux Falls and $1,000 from South Dakota Realtors PAC. He came into the contest with $1,175 in his campaign account and showed a mid-May balance of $3,877. 

Zellmer reported raising $19,765 through early May, including large contributions from prominent Republicans such as $1,000 from Dana Dykhouse, $1,000 from LaDawn Dykhouse of Sioux Falls, $1,000 from Harvey Jewett of Aberdeen, $1,000 from Sen. Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown, $1,000 from Miriam Broin of Sioux Falls, $1,000 from Robert Broin of Sioux Falls and $1,000 from the Daugaard for Governor Committee. He also reported $6,900 from PACs, including $5,000 from A Better South Dakota and $1,000 from South Dakota Realtors. The first-time candidate showed a mid-May balance of $8,554.

District 17 Senate Republican

Senator Art Rusch of Vermillion faces a challenge from Representative Nancy Rasmussen of Hurley, who is term-limited in the House, for the Republican nomination. The Republican winner faces Democrat Codylee Riedmann of Vermillion and Libertarian Gregory Baldwin of Wakonda.

Rusch reported raising $3,650 through early May, including $1,000 from South Dakota Realtors committee and $1,000 from the South Dakota Education Association’s political committee. He came into the contest with $4,602 in his campaign account and showed a mid-May balance of $5,339. 

Rasmussen reported raising $2,375 through early May, including $1,250 from the South Dakota rural electrics committee. She came into the contest with $6,718 and showed a mid-May balance of $3,325. 

District 21 Senate Republican

First-term Senator Rocky Blare, R-Ideal, decided to run for a seat in the House instead this election, opening the seat. House Republican leader Lee Qualm of Platte, who’s term-limited in the House, and Erin Tobin of Winner are competing for the Republican nomination to face Democrat Dan Kerner Andersson of Burke.

Qualm reported raising $4,350 through early May, including $1,000 from the South Dakota rural electrics committee. He came into the contest with $9,547 in his campaign account and showed a mid-May balance of $3,760. 

Tobin reported raising $24,088, including $1,000 from Brad and Kay Bolton of Winner, $1,000 from Bob and Judy Benson of Winner, $1,000 from Harvey Jewett of Aberdeen, $1,000 from Barry and Marilyn Grossenburg of Winner, $1,000 from Senator Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown, $1,000 from the Bolton Ranch at Dallas, SD, $1,000 from Pharmco of Platte, and $1,000 from the South Dakota Realtors PAC. The first-time candidate showed a mid-May balance of $9,937. Since then, she’s reported $2,000 of further contributions, including $1,000 from Harry Christianson of Rapid City. 

District 30 Senate Republican

Senator Lance Russell, R-Hot Springs filed for re-election but withdrew and is instead running for Fall River County state’s attorney, a post he’s previously held. The open seat attracted three candidates. Seeking the Republican nomination are Representative Julie Frye-Mueller of Rapid City and George Kotti, mayor of Hot Springs. The winner faces Libertarian Gideon Oakes of Keystone.

Frye-Mueller reported raising $3,950 through early May, including $3,000 from Deadwood’s tourism PAC. She came into the contest with $1,621 in her campaign account and showed a mid-May balance of $2,646.

Kotti reported raising $11,425 through early May, including $1,000 from Harvey Jewett of Aberdeen, $1,000 from Senator Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown, $1,000 from Karen Hustead of Wall, $1,000 from Marilyn Kotti, $1,000 from Daugaard for South Dakota, and $2,000 from South Dakota Realtors. The first-time candidate showed a mid-May balance of $11,380.

District 31 Senate Republican

Senator Bob Ewing, R-Spearfish, is term-limited and decided to run for a seat on the Lawrence County Commission, where he served before seeking a seat in the Legislature. The next holder of that seat will be decided Tuesday between Representative Timothy Johns of Lead and former legislator John Teupel of Spearfish; no other candidate filed.

 Johns reported raising $10,350 through early May, including $1,000 from Senator Lee Schoenbeck, $3,000 from the Deadwood tourism committee, $2,000 from South Dakota Realtors and $1,000 from the South Dakota Education Association committee. He came into the contest with $2,351 in his campaign account and showed a mid-May balance of $4,358.

Teupel reported raising $5,680 through early May, including $2,000 from South Dakota Realtors and a $1,500 loan. Teupel, who served in the House 2001-2004, showed a mid-May balance of $2,018.

District 33 Senate Republican

Senator Phil Jensen, R-Rapid City, is term-limited and is running for a seat in the House. Three candidates are competing for this seat, including two Republicans who face off Tuesday: Representative David Johnson of Rapid City and Janet Jensen of Rapid City, who is married to the senator. The winner faces Democrat Ryan Ryder of Black Hawk.

Johnson reported raising $31,653 through early May, including $5,000 from the Deadwood tourism PAC, $2,000 from Stan Adelstein of Rapid City and $1,000 apiece from Paul Thorstenson of Rapid City, Dennis Daugaard of Garretson, George Dunham of Rapid City, Harry Christianson of Rapid City, Senator Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown, the South Dakota Education Association committee and the South Dakota Realtors committee. He showed a mid-May balance of $10,766. 

Janet Jensen reported raising $8,580 through early May, including $1,000 from Convention of States-South Dakota and $1,000 from the campaign committee of her husband. The first-time candidate showed a mid-May balance of $74. 

*South Dakota voters approved term limits for legislators in 1992, setting a maximum of four consecutive terms that a legislator could be elected to the same chamber. It is detailed in South Dakota Constitution legislative article 3-6.

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