• March 13, 2022
Straight Talk: Politicians and Status Quo

It’s no surprise that politicians and political insiders want you to believe that the world is nothing but sunshine and roses. Because if it isn’t, that means they did something wrong and may be accountable for their actions, by us the voters. During elections, politicians always try and paint a different picture, to make them look favorable. One thing I am not, is a politician.

Sadly, this election is no different.

Recently, my opponent publicly stated on Facebook that “there were no murders in the county,” but the fact is, that’s just not true. 1 In fact, Pennington County has suffered from skyrocketing murder rates for a decade now, and in 2021 alone there were FOUR TIMES as many murders than a decade ago in 2011. 2

Upon further investigation, my opponent openly admits to skewing the data by “excluding Rapid City and Box Elder data,” which means that my opponent intentionally excluded 79% of the total county population, or 86,449 people out of the 109,222-county population. 3, 4 & 5 Every citizen in Pennington County deserves to have a Sheriff that represents them, in good times and bad times. I have said it before and I will continue to say it, this election is not about politics, it is about people!

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I’ve heard, my opponent argues to justify excluding 79% of the county’s population, that Rapid City and Box Elder have their own law enforcement departments, and the Sheriff isn’t responsible for them because of that. As the Sheriff, it is my goal to proactively work with local law enforcement agencies to prevent crime, and more importantly; prevent our family, friends, and neighbors from being a victim of crime.

Under South Dakota Codified Law (SDCL) § 7-12-1,

“The sheriff shall keep and preserve the peace within the county,”

And the fact is, Rapid City and Box Elder are in Pennington County. The crime statistics clearly show that the Sheriff has not kept nor preserved the peace, this is not the case today, yesterday, or the last decade.  My opponent has stated his vision for the Sheriff’s Office is to “continue the excellence.”   Our family, friends and neighbors deserve, and want better from our leaders than the highest crime rates in our state. 6

My opponent is trying to convince us that he is “fiscally conservative.” 2014 to present, the Sheriff’s office percentage of the total county budget has only grown as well as increasing by almost $9 million dollars. That is over a million dollars a year. 7

I’ve pointed it out before, but the idea that Pennington County citizens pay 2.5 times as much as Minnehaha for our Sheriff, when Minnehaha has almost two times as many people, is unjustifiable. 8

By every metric, citizens in Pennington County are paying more for public safety but getting less of it.

Unlike my opponent, I’ve run businesses and in business you’ve got to be accountable – especially when it comes to the books and solving problems. Now I make mistakes just like anyone does, but in business, you can’t hide from them or try and blame someone else to get out of them, you are accountable and tackle problems them head on.

The only way to solve any problem is to first admit you have one.  By ignoring the problem(s), you are simply kicking the can further down the road.

As Sheriff, I won’t blame local law enforcement when problems arise, I won’t skew the figures, so it looks better than it is, I’ll face the facts and work to come up with real solutions to fix them.

I’m asking for your support and your vote this election – because I believe we need a Sheriff we can trust and rely on.

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