TenHaken, Loetscher Talk Campaign Strategies For Runoff Election


The top two candidates for Sioux Falls’s next mayor are political newcomers who edged out three longtime politicians. Paul TenHaken and Jolene Loetscher aren’t surprised they’re facing off against each other in a runoff election on May first. They now have three weeks to convince voters they’re the right person to lead the city. 

Tuesday night’s celebrations are over. On Wednesday, the campaign trail started over at mile number one. 

“No rest for the weary. We get right back into this three-week sprint and it’s going to be a sprint,” TenHaken said. 

“We’re just talking to folks about what their hopes, their dreams and concerns are for Sioux Falls,” Loetscher said. 

Face time with voters will be essential when it comes to expanding each candidate’s base. 

“You know you’re going to have long nights, you’re going to have to do a lot of research and know your answers and be ready,” Loetscher said.

“35 percent of the vote, I’m very happy with that, but I’m also a realist and say there’s 65 percent of those voters who voted for someone else,” TenHaken said. 

Both say they aren’t changing their strategies, and they’ll continue to keep the foundation of their campaigns. TenHaken will still focus on crime, workforce development, and government transparency. Loetscher’s list also includes transparency, city growth and development, and creating a safer Sioux Falls. So, what helped these two entrepreneurs defeat three candidates with experience in local government? TenHaken and Loetscher credit younger generations. 

“People are looking for business leadership experience, private sector leadership experience in government. They don’t want bureaucrats and politicians and people who have potentially served before. They want fresh ideas,” TenHaken said. 

“When we look at past elections, it was probably a wakeup call for people who didn’t like how it went to know, ‘if I wanted to change something, I had to go vote,'” Loetscher said. 

Thursday, and the days after that, TenHaken and Loetscher each hope to take this momentum and run with it. 

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