Nesselhuf announces District 17 Senate bid Rep. Ben "BJ" Nesselhuf announced his bid for District 17's Senate seat to a group of supporters on Wednesday, Sept. 1. Nesselhuf, a Vermillion native, has served two terms in the S.D. House of Representatives.
In the announcement he voiced his enthusiasm to continue supporting funding for K-12 education. He is an advocate of changing the current K-12 funding which is set at 3 percent or the current interest rate, whichever is the lesser; Nesselhuf would like to change it to whichever is the greater, in order to help fund educational programs.
Nesselhuf also worked extensively with Gov. Rounds' office in a bi-partisan effort to establish South Dakota's Opportunity Scholarship program during his past terms.
"We can be proud that South Dakota is no longer the only state without scholarships for young people who want to continue their education in our great state."
Nesselhuf is also looking forward to continuing to work on alternative energy sources in South Dakota such as ethanol, bio-diesel, and wind energy. When asked on the issue he stated, "I envision a future where South Dakota is not only the bread basket of the world but also the greatest source of energy."
Nesselhuf acknowledged that an effective legislator looks past the front page of the paper to find the important, often overlooked issues. "An effective legislator finds ways to improve the lives of average South Dakotans," he said. "A single legislator cannot set the agenda, but can bring light to important issues that may have been neglected in the past."
Some of those issues that Nesselhuf has championed included working with the state penal system to bring the cost of a phone call to family members down to an affordable level. This reduction encourages the bond of prisoners with their families which has shown to reduce the likelihood of prisoners becoming repeat offenders upon release. Nesselhuf also worked to resolve the issues created by the risk pool system to ensure that all South Dakotans had affordable access to quality health care.
Nesselhuf said he feels blessed to have another opportunity to represent South Dakotans in Clay and Turner counties.
Nesselhuf is a marketing sales specialist for Richard Sunde State Farm Insurance, and owns a home in Vermillion.