District 17 will host its 2012 election for the state House of Representatives Nov. 6, with candidates Ray Ring, Marion Sorlien and Nancy Rasmussen.
At a glance, the three candidates have similar platforms. Democrat Marion Sorlien is heavily focused on education and Medicaid, and said the legislative branch has always had a great influence on her beliefs.
“I’ve always followed the legislature as an educator. I think we need a strong legislature that won’t buckle to party pressure,” Sorlien said.
Outraged by recent cuts in funding for education, Sorlien is determined to turn things around.
“In 2011, the governor came in and asked for a 10 percent reduction in funding for schooling, and it really hurt Medicaid and higher education as a whole. I was disgusted,” Sorlien said. “I had originally made plans to retire, but I got a lot of support from family and friends to run in the election, and I plan to be a voice for the state and the people of District 17.”
Republican Nancy Rasmussen also feels strongly about education and Medicaid, as well as agriculture. With previous experience in all three areas, Rasmussen said she feels her common sense will stand out in the election.
“The drought over the summer was terrible, but the farmers have been so resilient and I’m really impressed,” Rasmussen said.
As of March, Rasmussen has been busy campaigning alongside the support of her husband and children. Until Election Day, Rasmussen will be active around Clay County, visiting home-schooled children Oct. 22 at an education forum and going door-to-door to meet constituents.
Democrat Ray Ring, a former economics professor at the University of South Dakota, hopes to renovate education and healthcare issues in District 17, as well as throughout the state of South Dakota.
“We must recover and provide so much more for our teachers and our healthcare providers, and primarily increase funding in both areas,” Ring said.
After teaching at USD for 33 years, Ring set out to make an impact on the state of South Dakota after growing concerns on things affecting the country and all over the state. Like his fellow candidates, Ring will be going door-to-door to make personal connections with the people of District 17, as well as attending a few forums leading up to election day.
The three candidates will be busy conducting door-to-door campaigning and attending forums from now until Nov. 6. A voter forum will take place at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 at City Hall in Vermillion and will feature all three candidates. The candidates will be at the disposal of the public, and patrons will have the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about their plans