UPDATE: Early Voting Starts Monday, March 26 for Municipal Election

This Monday you can start voting early for the Sioux Falls Municipal Election at the Minnehaha County Auditor’s office. I highly suggest you do. I have voted early for at least the last 5 years. It is very convenient and I have NEVER waited in a line to do so.

While I know who I am voting for in all the races, I know not all of you agree with me. So I’m going to make my suggestions and tell you why I made them.

Mayoral Race

I’m voting for Greg Jamison, but my second choice would be Jolene Loetscher. Let’s face it, no matter how many times you throw the cards down, Jamison is the only one in the race that has the experience to run the city administratively on day one. While Jim and Kenny also have experience, Jim’s ties to Huether are worrisome. Kenny just hasn’t convinced me he is prepared for the job. Where Jolene lacks experience she makes up with passion and compassion. I really like these qualities about Jolene. If she would make the runoff and win mayor she would also do an excellent job, but she would have an enormous learning curve.

Central District

This one has been a tough one for me. I originally supported Zach DeBoer, but more and more I like the working class fiscally conservative values of Thor Bardon. Thor will get my vote. But a vote for Zach or Tom Hurlbert would certainly not be the wrong way to go. I think all three men are very talented and have immense qualities that would make them great city councilors. I know nothing about Scott Bartlett except that he was a teabagger at one time. Scary. Curt Soehl, while being a former firefighter is a great quality, his attachment to Huether and developers in his campaign donor list makes it obvious where his loyalties lie, not with the people. I was also put off about his comments about the media. Love or hate the media, let’s face it, as a city councilor or other elected official you have to be an open book with the media. It is essential to open and transparent government.

At-Large ‘A’

Janet Brekke is the obvious choice in this race, hands down. Janet’s experience as a former city attorney (she created the city attorney’s office) will help the next council be guided through complex contracts. She also has many great ideas on deregulation, code enforcement changes, customer service and strategic and budget planning. John is a nice guy, but he is running the same losing campaign he ran when he lost to Stehly two years ago. In the past two years he hasn’t offered us anything new. While I agree city government should be more positive he offers no solutions. Ritch Whoever is the really winner in this race because he took the high road and decided not to run this time.

At-Large ‘B’

I’ll be honest with you, I would probably be helping Erickson right now get re-elected if it wasn’t for new friendship with the mayor and her votes on the Downtown Parking Ramp. I have had many discussions with Christine when it came to the school start date, free swimming and bus rides for the kids and other citizen friendly programs. Something changed in Christine over the past two years, and it is worrisome. The Downtown Parking ramp wreaks of corruption and she was in on the deal from the beginning, sitting on the RFQ committee that picked Legacy. Nick Weiland will get my vote, and while Nick may have a learning curve, he has a great passion about redeveloping our core and making our city more digitally advanced which will help with customer service and save taxpayers money.

So on Monday, get out and vote!


#1 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.23.18 at 6:32 pm

This mayoral race is about who we do not want to win and not about who we want to win. I am still waiting for a scientific poll on this race. Then I’ll know who to vote for to keep the “Evangelist of Downtown” out of office…..

Well, that’s where my mind is, that is. My heart is torn between Kenny and Jo. Kenny did disappoint me, however, when he gave Trump a “C” for performance at a recent forum and Jo inspired me, when she challenged the “Evangelist” over his “nothing burger” comment….

#2 MK on 03.23.18 at 7:47 pm

I listened to Kenny speak once when he was on the council and he was pushing for the city to adopt renewable energy (solar & wind) from a vendor where the cost exceeded the ROI.

So he was either trying to use his influence to push business to friend, or he has no understanding of budgets at all.

I believe it’s the latter and question his competence for the position.

#3 The D@ily Spin on 03.23.18 at 9:44 pm

I’m voting early too. I’ll be out of the country on Election Day. I’ll vote Jolene, Thor, Brekke, and maybe Weiland. Your information here has been a big help for my choices. This is an important election. I’d like to see a transformation back to democracy. It’ll not happen because of big money promo but I’m voting my mind so I feel good about myself.

#4 Michelle on 03.24.18 at 12:50 am

Jolene has compassion? Not for unborn babies.

When looking to gain understanding of a candidate’s world view, following their social activities can be very telling. By speaking at the “Women’s March”, Jo opened the door to how she aligns politically on issues such as – inequalities women suffer (gender pay gap?), pro-abortion and didn’t the anti-Semitic Linda Sarsour begin this movement. Does Jo support and champion women like Sarsour? Who we do not want to win is Jolene Loetscher.

How close of a relationship does the Argus have with Jo and her campaign? The AL consistently provides erroneous information, delivers a progressive message and often leans anti-Christian. What did they write about Mike Gunn’s character? Not cool. The circus show we witnessed between Jo, the AL and Paul is not as innocent as it’s being spun. JL has an agenda and it doesn’t include much compassion.

Has Theresa Stehly shared her thoughts? I often support the work she is doing and information she provides to the public, her opinion is worth my time.

#5 Observant Person on 03.24.18 at 1:30 am

Greg’s political resume contains a previous mayoral loss and is void of any elective/management experience. It is well established that government cannot be run like a business. Therefore, I struggle to see why he is better prepared to run the city administratively on day one versus any of the other candidates.

Other than being a loud voice for smoother roads, which government should do anyway, I just do not see him doing anything revolutionary, innovative or creative.

Jolene is the right choice for mayor. She understands that government should be responsive to all the citizens and cannot be operated like a private business. She understands that the core of the city is just as important as the neighborhoods on the edges of the city. I know she will have a diverse team on day one in office that will not be afraid to provide her with opinions that are more than just a few degrees away from her opinion.

Real change is needed. I think Jolene do things for this city that everyone can get behind.

#6 Marko on 03.24.18 at 9:18 am

Are write-ins allowed?

#7 l3wis on 03.24.18 at 11:21 am

Stehly is trying to stay out of publicly endorsing someone. She has met with all the candidates to let them know what her agenda is coming in new. I bet though if you contacted Stehly privately she might let you know her personal opinion.

Marko – Write ins are not allowed. But if you write in on the ballot you might get thrown in the review board pile.

#8 l3wis on 03.24.18 at 11:22 am

Also, Michelle, city government has no control over Planned Parenthood or abortions. That is a Federal and state issue.

#9 Michelle on 03.24.18 at 1:07 pm

Yes, l3wis, I’m aware of the control a mayor has over policy making. I was speaking about Jo’s character and world view. There would seem to be a contradiction between Jo’s support for the Women’s March and her cheerleading the family unit.

The Women’s March movement also defends sanctuary cities. If Jo is elected mayor, should SF expect to brace for a Libby Schaaf style of governing?

Does the gender pay gap exist within SF city government, how will Jo address this illegal practice? There are questions that could be addressed in a debate, but all we get is flowery forums, and all we hear about is TRANSPARENCY!!

Another alarming contradiction comes from Jamison. Does GJ agree out-of-state money should financially support SD campaigns? As a legislator, I think he has spoken out against this type of practice? Where did that large donation come from for his campaign… out-of-state?

#10 l3wis on 03.24.18 at 2:34 pm

I have no problem with out of state money. If Greg was the only one receiving it, than I would be worried. If you look over the donor lists of all the candidates (mayor and council) you will see they are receiving money from out of city and out of state from a variety of donors.

You also have to realize that the National Realtors Association isn’t a ‘person’ they are an organization that receives funding from all over the U.S. including Sioux Falls members.

#11 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.24.18 at 3:14 pm

Michelle’s comment is exhibit “A” proof that ThuneHaken is not the candidate of the millennials, rather he is the candidate of the fundamentalists.

Fundamentalists, who for some reason probably for the mere sake of marketing and to be cute, have some how replaced the Christian phrase “…Just men are sinners,” with a mere inference to such transgressions as nothing but “mulligans.”

“Mulligans,” really? No wonder ThuneHaken at a recent forum gave Trump a “B” for performance. With so much “mulligan” potential in hand it makes a “B” more plausible, I guess. Or, was that just a marketing ploy to deny the sinner an “A” in public?

I might also add, that the word “Just” is hard for some of us to accept, when talking about some sinners in particular, but we must learn to hate the sin and not sinner – but where does that mean we still have to give them a passing grade and one that is above average?

#12 Michelle on 03.24.18 at 5:00 pm

I too don’t care what campaign people financially support, whether they are in-state or out. I think people should be allowed to spend their money where ever they see fit. My concern is for saying one thing and doing another, as I think Jamison has done.

For the “Very Stable Genius”… I did not share who I supported, I shared who I did not support and that’s Jolene. Since you’re the genius, I’ll let you decide who I am supporting. Today I also learned I am a Fundamentalist because a genius told me so.

#13 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.24.18 at 6:12 pm

Michelle, your words speak for you. When you start an abortion debate in a non-partisan municipal race or use adjectives like “evangelist” to describe your leadership style, then you are most likely a fundamentalist in both cases.

Oh, and as far as my analytical guess on your support, well, there is only one candidate who is playing the religious card and I think we all know who that is…..In fact, I heard he wants to lead us “evangelist”ically….

#14 Revere Life on 03.24.18 at 7:21 pm

I too will not vote for a pro-abortionist! That is a baby, a human being, a life! NO Jolene!!!
And furthermore she has no experience which has been a criticism of others.

#15 Warren Phear on 03.24.18 at 8:48 pm

Michelle, it is very obvious who you support and who threatens your fundie ideals. Watch 60 Minutes Sunday night and throw your hero yet another mulligan.

#16 The D@ily Spin on 03.24.18 at 9:33 pm

I like to see response. Tells me people are paying attention to this election. I like Jolene because she is not some of the insider cartel. I like Brekke because she realizes city government is not democracy. I like Noem because she can destroy the good old boys climate in Pierre. Call me a feminist. I don’t think so. What I believe is that modern women are less corrupt. They realize public service is giving back and not a way to take bribes to become wealthy. It’s time to turn things around. Back to Midwest honesty we can respect.

#17 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.25.18 at 9:54 am

I wonder if the “Evangelist” is going to watch 60 Minutes tonight? It might be a good distraction for him if his bracket is broken…..

#18 Warren Phear on 03.25.18 at 11:01 am

The comments are interesting.

#19 ABSOLUTELY NO JO!!!!!!! on 03.25.18 at 11:52 am

An individual’s VALUES and LACK of INTEGRITY or TRUST WORTHINESS are obvious if a person believes in abortion……..that process of killing another human being (heart begins beating 18-25th day which is before pregnancy is even realized).


#20 ABSOLUTELY NO JO!!!!!!! on 03.25.18 at 12:19 pm

Any person who places their own convenience and lack of responsibility for their choices (agreeing to unprotected sex) cannot be assumed to be an individual who will abruptly change and become a leader with integrity and place the welfare for the general public above their own interests.


#21 anonymous on 03.25.18 at 12:53 pm

After listening to Thor Bardon on Jon Michael’s program, he has my vote to represent the Central District.

#22 anominous on 03.25.18 at 1:21 pm

Funny to see the tenhaken crowd pooping up this sidewalk.

#23 Warren Phear on 03.25.18 at 2:44 pm

Lot of fundamentalists showing up here lately. Wonder why? Is their telephone polling showing them who they need to attack on a personal level? I for one have no time for politics and religion being intertwined…but since they’re here?

Fundamentalists want to be fundamental about everything, except “love thy neighbor.” They are also xenophobes. Rather than a brotherhood of man, fundies want a tribal community. Prime example? Every fundie wants a wall, a big beautiful wall that the bad guy Mexicans have to pay for.
They also hate this verse from Luke 16:13.

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

A few days ago I would not have wanted entenman as mayor at any cost. I have to modify that a bit. If it boils down to entenman or tenhaken? Entenman.

#24 l3wis on 03.25.18 at 2:49 pm

WP- curious why you support Jim over Greg?

#25 Warren Phear on 03.25.18 at 2:59 pm

I do not support jim over Greg. I support in this order.

These three are nearly interchangeable to me. Cannot go wrong with any of them.

Second tier?


My opinion, but his stands appear to me to be a tad too tea partyish.

Third tier, and a tier much much lower than the other two.


#26 Warren Phear on 03.25.18 at 3:30 pm

To all you fundie trump apologists that are popping up here. When you set your dvr’s to record 60 minutes tonite, remember. NCAA Basketball may run a little long tonight, so also record from the 7 to 8 hour. Another friendly reminder. When popping your popcorn, pull it out of the microwave when the pops get more than a second apart. Nothing worse than burnt popcorn on a stormy night.

#27 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.25.18 at 4:07 pm

Wait a minute, maybe these commenters are not fundamentalists, rather they are just apart of some sort of mafia, like a Dutch one…..

#28 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.25.18 at 4:18 pm

Here is some food for thought. ThuneHaken calls what I am going to assume is his credible investment company the “Dutch Mafia,” right? And at his candidacy announcement, he added affordable housing – as an issue – as an after thought with a smile on his face. So it is safe to say, that he likes to make light of serious matters that are of substance. So that said, when he calls this controversy with DSU a “nothing burger,” he is actually admitting that the story has a lot of beef.

And don’t they almost always serve fries, or in this case “Freedom Fries,” with every burger? So there is bound to be something of substance on this “burger plate” to chew on, right?…..

#29 Ronald Raygun on 03.25.18 at 4:25 pm

WTF does abortion have to do with a mayoral race? Moronic.

#30 l3wis on 03.25.18 at 4:48 pm

RR- Every Municipal election cycle this topic comes up like a bad cold. The Mayor doesn’t have the power to overturn Roe Vs. Wade. Let’s get back to talking about roads and such.

#31 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.25.18 at 4:54 pm

I keep waiting for “them” to start a rumor that the Community Health Clinic performs abortions…. I wouldn’t put it past them.

But our current mayor, when he is president someday (He claims he’s going to run…), couldn’t he overturn Roe?

#32 scott on 03.25.18 at 5:24 pm

when the hakenites start commenting here, it isn’t because the opposition is afraid of thunehaken, it’s because thunehaken is afraid of the opposition.

#33 Warren Phear on 03.25.18 at 5:57 pm

VSG….dutch mafia, evangel fundies. One in the same.

#34 ABSOLUTELY NO JO!!!!! on 03.25.18 at 6:55 pm

Abortion support reveals character. Any woman who places her own wants and desires first and above that of an unborn child, thus requiring a life to be taken, will also place her own wants and desires above that of citizens’ needs. That reveals a quality of a self-serving leader and not a leader of selfless integrity, such as Theresa Stehly.

You need to get a brain if you can’t figure that out!

#35 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.25.18 at 7:46 pm

Internal polling must show that the millennial vote is trending Jo. So I guess that means it is time for the “DSU Team,” I mean the “Team TenHaken,” to go full blown fundamental.

#36 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.25.18 at 8:31 pm


They are “one in the same,” indeed. Orange City is in love with the idea of a orange President, who’s operative apparently likes to threaten Stormy….(And what were “others” planning to do to the troll, too?)

#37 come on on 03.25.18 at 8:50 pm

ANJ – it IS possible for a woman to get pregnant despite her best efforts to prevent it. Just saying.

But Republicans are also anti-birth control, right? IMO Republicans aren’t pro-life, they’re pro-birth. F the single mother who can’t afford to have a kid to begin with, right? SMH.

#38 My Mistake Mike on 03.26.18 at 6:19 am

ANJ – I am “No on Jo” as well because IMHO she lacks the basic qualifiers of experience, honesty and competence. Her resume is thin and her platform even thinner.

BUT, that said, she is the only one of the six candidates who has actually given birth to a child. So casting her as pro-abortion, anti-life or whatever term you and your ilk want to label is asinine and has no place in this election. Period.

Now can we get back to pot holes, drugs, crime, and The Denty?

#39 Rachel on 03.26.18 at 11:09 pm

After doing a little research and reaching out to candidates in the central district, I have found Thor to be the most genuine. I think he appears to have a sincere desire to listen to people from all perspectives. I was going to refrain from saying anything negative about any candidate, but Tenhaken is a pretty lousy human being. Anyone who gives Trump a B, gets an F from me.

#40 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.26.18 at 11:45 pm

“Rachel for Mayor!”

#41 Rachel on 03.27.18 at 12:03 am

Very stable genuis..I like you. You would make a better mayor then me. I’m a nurse and that is a better fit. For much too long, I haven’t paid enough attention to local government, but worry that the toxicity in our current federal government and state government has now spread to our local government as well. What are your thoughts?

#42 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.27.18 at 12:58 pm

Rachel, you are too kind, thank you…. I believe as well, that this “toxicity,” which you speak of, has permeated down to the local level. But why is that, well, I think it is the result that increasingly, in order for politics or public policy to be relevant or make itself relevant, those in it find that they have to entertain the voter and entertainment is the only thing they feel they can truly deliver to the voter in a country which has become increasingly narcissistic and wanting due to a collapsing middle class and a growing white fear; and let us also understand that what is one person’s toxicity is an other person’s belief, cynical or not, in this increasingly divided county, which only further fuels the toxicity.

I also believe the polarization in this country is at the root of the problem or the true cause of this toxicity too – a polarization brought on by this dual reality, I speak of, of a collapsing middle class, while at the same time, many in white America fear the loss of their majority status….. Hence, the election of Trump as President and a greater toxicity, which I am afraid has become the new norm.

Some of us, like myself, who are known to make snarky comments at times on these blogs, could be blamed for contributing to this toxicity. But long before there was Trump and this toxicity, there was Harry Truman and Truman was known to have said, “That if you cannot stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen,” and that has been one of my most favorite political quotes of all time. Because what some may see as toxicity on my part, or others, are only hearing what I believe to be the truth which they don’t like. And, well, my truth can definitely be wrong, but I challenge and welcome the challenge of others to prove me wrong, however. And unlike Trump, I think that I and others, including yourself, deal in facts like Truman which further justifies our comments.

President Obama recently has chided the meanness which can be found on social media today and I am glad he did that, but I think it is going to take more than just a stern warning from a former President to change things. Rather, certain things need to change first and as primary examples only when we begin to truly protect and promote a strong middle class, and have a real discussion about race in this country, will our country begin to change for the good and be less mean, and return to its prior norm.

That is why it is disappointing, in my opinion, to how too little has been discussed in this mayoral race about wages. Because, I believe the root of the big problems in this town, whether it be meth and crime, affordable housing, or transparency as major examples, all stem back to a lack of adequate wages for many citizens living in this town. Because when you destroy or allow a middle class to be destroyed, especially in an assumed strong democracy or community, you destroy idealism, respect, and civility; which speaks to your concern, Rachel, of the growing toxicity in our politics today; and you also destroy through a loss of idealism, in particular, a respect for the law, a respect for your fellow citizen, and your government, which in turn means more break the law, fewer in leadership positions care about wages and housing, and fewer can have a positive influence on public policy which then causes a lack of transparency to flourish…… And nothing demonstrates this latter concern more, then the fact that the current City Council sadly shows a greater concern for some upper middle income and affluent golfers versus the facts surrounding the death of a working class construction worker here in this town…

Have you noticed the recent fact, that has just become known to us, which is, that South Dakota has the lowest GNP in the country right now of all of the states. Well, why is this? Well, part of the blame can be placed on the depressed farm economy right now, but an other part that can be blamed is that too many South Dakotans are underpaid. If you pay workers more, they will spend more and help to make an economy flourish. Henry Ford knew that over a hundred years ago, when he paid his workers more than factory workers at other companies and he did this so that his workers could afford to buy Fords, and make the company grow.

Although, the word “bully” is no longer politically correct. We could still use some local political leadership that would take the “Bully Pulpit,” in true Teddy Roosevelt style, and challenge the local business community to start paying its workers more. When Minneapolis Federal Reserve Banker, Neel Kashkari, spoke at the Downtown Rotary Club last summer, he chided local businessmen in attendance for not paying their workers enough. And he was right, and he is also a conservative Republican, and not a Democrat, and one who understands as an economist what Henry Ford understood over 100 years ago, which is that you should pay your workers a livable wage if you want a company and an economy to live for an other day.

So in conclusion, you are right, Rachel, that toxicity is everywhere today, but it won’t go away until we have political leadership which begins to institute public policy at all levels that once again protects and strengthens the middle class through higher wages and benefits, and demands a politics which encourages a honest discussion on race in this country as well… But until then, I am going to continue to express my opinion and thoughts, snarky or not, and I hope you do too, and if some don’t like my thoughts or yours, well, they can either start dealing in facts or just leave the kitchen…..