District 23 is the next legislative district to look at without a general election. District 23 is in North-Central South Dakota just East of the river. Towns in this district include Akaska, Artas, Bowdle, Chelsea, Cresbard, Eureka, Faulkton, Gettysburg, Glenham, Herreid, Hillsview, Hosmer, Hoven, Ipswich, Java, Lebanon, Leola, Long Lake, Lowry, Miller, Mobridge, Mound City, Onaka, Orient, Pollock, Ree Heights, Rockham, Roscoe, Selby, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Tolstoy, Tulare, Wessington and Wetonka.
The current State Senator for District 23, Sen Corey Brown, is term-limited. That left an opening for fellow Republican, Rep Justin Cronin, to switch over from the State House to the State Senate. Cronin also happened to be term-limited in the House. Cronin was able to attain the State Senate seat without a primary or general election.
The House side did have a primary election. As mentioned above, Cronin sought the Senate seat, leaving his House seat open. The other current State Representative, Rep Michele Harrison, chose not to seek reelection after her freshman term. That left a four-way Republican primary between Rep Dick Werner (R, Dist 22), John Lake (R), Spencer Gosch (R) and Charlie Hoffman (R). Werner had moved from District 22 and hoped to keep a seat in Pierre in his new district; that didn’t happen. Some were surprised to see former legislator Hoffman did not make the cut. From what I’m told the two newcomers, Lake and Gosh, were out working hard. This might have been a case where voters in the district rewarded the hard work of some new faces.
Even though these three have already won the general election I will still do a post on them. It is still worth if for the constituents of District 23 to know a thing or two about the legislative priorities of these politicians. For Cronin this post will look at a few pieces of legislation he prime sponsored in the House. Since the other two candidates do not have a legislative history I will just repost what was found about the candidates for their primary election post.
Justin R Cronin
Up first from 2016 is a Concurrent Resolution:
This was an interesting resolution because it was a message to the federal government, via our congressional delegation. Here is the key part of this concurrent resolution:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Legislature opposes legislative or regulatory action,whether at the federal or state level, that may result in unnecessary restrictions, on the use of crop protection chemistries and nutrients, that are not based on sound science; and
There have been a LOT of special interest groups trying to fight against the use of chemicals in agriculture. It doesn’t appear those groups understand how important the use of chemicals in agriculture is; or how far science has come to make the use of such chemicals safe. Yes, there are environmental concerns, but that doesn’t mean farmers could, or should, stop the use of chemicals.
Now moving back to 2015 it is worth mentioning this bill prime sponsored by Cronin:
I have blogged quite a bit about the Obligation Recovery Center (ORC) on SoDakLiberty. The ORC is basically a collection center the state will use against its citizens. Yes, there are people who owe the state a debt. And yes these debts need to be paid. But many people just can’t understand how the legislature thought it was OK to give the ORC the power to withhold drivers licenses in order to try collecting that debt. Taking away the means for someone to actually earn money seems quite counter-productive. Additionally most of this debt is through the UJS, where there already exists the threat of other legal issues if these debts are not paid off. It would have been interesting to see if Cronin would have made it through the election with an opponent after being the prime sponsor of this legislation.
Finally it is worth looking at a bill from 2012:
This of course goes back to the tobacco shops that had machines to let customers roll their own cigarettes on the premises. The largest benefit to customers was a lower tax rate on these cigarettes. It also allowed for a greater variety of flavors for cigarettes, as pipe tobacco was used for this process. This bill, which was signed into law, declared that these establishments offer a roll-you-own cigarette machine were to be counted as manufacturers, so the cigarettes made from these machines could be taxed as a higher rate. Technically I think it was a stretch to call these retailers any form of a manufacturer. But the legislature apparently thought there was a lot of tax revenue it could go after, so this “loophole” was closed via Cronin’s bill.
This is reposted from the blog post about the District 23 primary:
Gosch does have a Views page on his campaign website. Those are basically split into five categories: Agriculture, Taking Care of our Veterans, Business and Economic Development, Education, and Taking Care of our Finest generation.
Probably most interesting from that page is part of what he has to say about economic development:
So, where do I feel that Government fits in here? I believe that it is the Government’s job to support local business rather than regulate or tax people out of their lively hoods. It’s the Government’s job to use the money generated by the people to maintain infrastructure like roads and other public utility resources. To promote local economic development and to stay out of the way of hard working individuals that just want a piece of the American Dream!
Gosch has been very active on his campaign Facebook page as he travels District 23. He has actually been giving video updates. He doesn’t really give any information to learn more about him in these videos, but it is nice way to show all the towns he has been to.
John A. Lake
This is reposted from the blog post about the District 23 primary:
Lake has a campaign Facebook page. He does have one post on the page which includes a bullet point list of what he stands for:
A vote for John Lake to the House of Representatives is a vote to:
– Curb government growth
– Keep taxes low
– Maintain local control of education
– Not give up State control to the Federal Government
– Support Pro-Life legislation
– Preserve our 2nd amendment rights
– Keep state bureaucrats in check
Here is a short list of other positions held and organizations involved with:
– Past President of South Dakota Wheat
– National Director for National Association of Wheat Growers
– Former County Commissioner
– Gettysburg/ Whitlock Bay Development Corp.
– Gettysburg Education Foundation
– Gettysburg Cemetery Association
– Potter County Republican Chairman
– Potter County Fair Board
– Emmanuel Lutheran Church