Dist 23 State House and State Senate already won by Cronin, Gosch, and Lake

SD Legislative District 23
SD Legislative District 23

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

Rep Justin Cronin (R, Dist 23)
Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009

Rep Justin Cronin speaking on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 3/29/16.
Rep Justin Cronin speaking on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 3/29/16.

Up first from 2016 is a Concurrent Resolution:

HCR 1007 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Requiring the use of sound science in evaluating crop protection chemistries and nutrients.

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:

HB 1228 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Establish an obligation recovery center.

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:

HB 1138 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Declare that any person who maintains or provides roll-your-own cigarette machines at retail establishments are cigarette manufacturers.

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.

Spencer Gosch

Spencer Gosch (R)
Website – Facebook – Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – SoDakLiberty

Spencer Gosch. Photo from Gosch's campaign Facebook page.
Spencer Gosch. Photo from Gosch’s campaign Facebook page.

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

John Lake (R)
Facebook – Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – SoDakLiberty

John A. Lake. Picture from Lake's campaign Facebook page.
John A. Lake. Picture from Lake’s campaign Facebook page.

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

He also has a post with his relevant experience:

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

I really don’t know much beyond that about Lake. I had hoped to attend the candidate forum in Mobridge, but life happened… He does seem to be pretty active going around District 23, so hopefully potential voters have had a chance to meet him in person.