Clubs Clay County Democrats

The March meeting of the Clay County Democrats took place on Wednesday, March 13 at the Pro's Restaurant at noon. The meeting was called to order by co-chair, Berwyn Svoboda. The Democratic campaign headquarters will be located on Court Street in the former Reedy's Hardware building. Anna Koerner, who is the field representative for Sen. Tim Johnson, will manage the campaign office.

William O'Connor, Barbara Yelverton, Gary Iverson, incumbent, and Les Kephart all spoke as candidates for the Clay County Commission. Each spoke about their previous experience and their interest in serving on the Commission. Brenden Richard is also a candidate but was unable to be present.

Andy Howe who is presently serving as deputy sheriff in Clay County, spoke about his candidacy for Clay County sheriff. Mr. Howe is a Republican and had been especially invited to speak and noted that he greatly appreciated the opportunity to present his candidacy to the group.

Dick Butler, who is currently serving as South Dakota state treasurer and twice elected to that position twice, spoke regarding his candidacy to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Mr. Butler emphasized that he has the good of all South Dakota citizens in mind as he begins his campaign for election.He spoke about the deterioration of our agricultural background and his intention of strengthening a strong public infrastructure and how he believes he would see to directing federal funds in such a way to strengthen and invigorate the public economy.

He also has concerns regarding the handling of the Social Security funds. He introduced his campaign manager, Pam Terrel of Sioux Falls. Ms. Terrell had previously been the opinion page editor for the Argus Leader and had become acquainted with Butler during his tenure as state treasurer.

Anna Koerner spoke about upcoming events and recruited volunteers to walk in support of Tim Johnson in the St. Patrick's Day parade in Sioux Falls. Mitch Stewart has re-located to the South Dakota Regional Democratic office in Sioux Falls where he will manage the campaign for Johnson. Johnson's official announcement will take place in Vermillion at his home on Plum Street on Monday, March 25. There will be many announcements forthcoming regarding this event. Stewart also shared his impressions of the terrorist activity on Sept. 11. He assured the group that things are back to normal in Washington, DC and everyone is back in their usual work place.

Local legislators Sen. John Reedy and Rep. B.J. Nesselhuf spoke about the session just finished in Pierre. This was Reedy's sixth legislative session. He summarized by saying that 240 bills had been submitted, more than 100 had died on the floor or in committee and that this was the most unproductive session in his memory.

Both Reedy and Nesselhuf noted that many funds had been borrowed to meet the budget shortfall. Nesselhuf also emphasized that the votes to transfer funds was a party-line vote and no Democrat had voted for the transfers. He also looks for opt out votes to continue over the state.

Co-chair Allen Johnson made announcements pertaining to McGovern Day in Mitchell and about the upcoming banquet/auction on May 23 which will be held to benefit local candidates. The next meeting of the Clay County Democrats will be held April 10 at noon at the Pro's. All Democrats are welcome to attend.

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