It's 'political party time' Gubernatorial, U.S. House candidates invited to USD forum The Political Science League (PSL), a student organization at The University of South Dakota, will sponsor Political Party Days on Tuesday, March 26 and Wednesday, March 27. This event will host the largest candidate get-together with candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives and for governor of South Dakota. The event is free and open to the public.
The PSL had tentative confirmation of attendance by all candidates with the exception of Mark Barnett and William Janklow as of Tuesday, March 19.
Each political party will have their own "political party" day to meet with USD students, hand out information, sign up volunteers, and participate in a forum for candidates running for the same office. March 26 will be Republican Day and March 27 will be Democrat Day. There will be noon forums on both days for U.S. House candidates, and at 7 p.m. for the gubernatorial candidates.
All forums will take place in Old Main's Farber Hall on The USD campus in Vermillion with the exception of the meeting of the Republican gubernatorial candidates, which will be held in the Rushmore Room in the Coyote Student Center.
There are 10 candidates running for the U.S. House. Republican House candidates are Tim Amdahl, Bert Tollefson, Larry Pressler, Roger Hunt and William Janklow. The Democratic candidates are Dick Butler, Dick Casey, Rick Weiland, Stephanie Herseth, and Denny Pierson.
Six candidates are running for the governor's seat. The Republican candidates are Mike Rounds, Mark Barnett and Steve Kirby. The Democratic candidates are Jim Abbott, Jim Hutmacher, and Ron Volesky.
The Political Party Days event was developed by USD senior political science majors Vanessa Short Bull of Rapid City and Nick DeJong of Lennox earlier in the year to fulfill an organizational goal. Hosting a partisan candidate convention with candidates running for the U.S. House and the governor of South Dakota was the idea agreed on.
"The Political Science League has been slowly building its place again among the student organizations on campus at The University of South Dakota for the past few years, and has come up with creative ways to promote political activism on campus, as well as in the community," said DeJong. "Many people struggle with attending political events as well as voting in a primary election. This event was designed to get those names who are running for those positions out to the public, and create awareness that there is so much talent out there that meeting these people is our first priority."
"Everybody knows Daschle, Johnson and Janklow, because they have established themselves as political figures in South Dakota, but there are other worthy opponents up for the job. Our job as a political body is to make these worthy candidates build a name, so that there is more diversity in this state when it comes to politics. We are bringing the candidates to the people to meet for themselves, and they will figure out who the diamond in the rough is," Short Bull said. "This primary race is very important for South Dakota, and it is our duty as South Dakotans to give every candidate a fair chance by letting all the candidates have their voices heard."
There will be a pressroom provided for media present to interview the candidates after their respective forums in Old Main.