RIP Former State Legislator Patrick A. Kirschman

Pat passed away this week of natural causes. I have known Pat over the past few years meeting him at the ‘Anti-Forum’ Friday lunches at the former Lil Colinga. Pat had a big heart and would help anyone. One of his pastimes was delivering absentee ballots to shut-ins and the elderly who couldn’t get out to vote in person. From Pat’s WIKI page;

  • 2008 When District 15 incumbent Democratic Representatives Kathy Miles ran for South Dakota Senate and Mary Glenski was term limited and both seats were left open, Kirschman ran in the three-way June 3, 2008 Democratic Primary and placed second with 682 votes (27.3%);[3] in the three-way November 4, 2008 General election Kirschman took the first seat with 3,132 votes (36.8%) ahead of Republican nominee Tamara Weis,[4] who had run for Senate in 2006.
  • 2010 Kirschman and incumbent Republican Representative Vanderlinde were unopposed for the June 8, 2010 Democratic Primary,[5]but were challenged in the three-way November 2, 2010 General election, where Independent candidate Jenna Haggar took the first seat and Kirschman took the second seat with 1,858 votes (31.6%) ahead of incumbent Representative Vanderlinde.[6]
  • 2012 With District 15 incumbent Representative Jenna Haggar redistricted to District 10, and incumbent Democratic RepresentativeMitch Fargen redistricted from District 8, Kirschman ran in the three-way June 5, 2012 Democratic Primary, and placed second with 361 votes (34.0%);[7] Kirschman and fellow Democratic nominee Karen Soli were unopposed for the November 6, 2012 General election, where Soli took the first seat and Kirschman took the second seat with 2,498 votes (45.22%).[8]
  • 2014 With District 15 incumbent Representative Kirschman ran unopposed in the June 3, 2014 Democratic Primary, Kirschman and fellow Democratic nominee Karen Soli were unopposed for the November 4, 2014 General election, where Soli took the first seat and Kirschman took the second seat with 1,476 votes.[9]
  • 2016 District 15 term limited incumbent Representative Kirschman ran in the June 7, 2016 two way Democratic Primary for State Senate, losing to Reynold F. Nesiba 697 votes to Kirschman’s 533 votes[10].


2 comments ↓

#1 Theodore on 03.20.20 at 8:05 pm

Sad. He was just at my office asking me to sign petitions to help get other people and other thing on the ballot as he did every election. My sympathy to his family and friends.

#2 John Kennedy Claussen, Sr., on 03.20.20 at 10:16 pm

Like Mr. Smith going to Washington, Pat was the common man going to Pierre. I knew Pat for almost thirty years. He was one of the first persons I met, when I first began to get involved in Minnehaha County Democratic politics. Pat and I disagreed on reproductive rights, but that did not stop us from being political friends, who both shared a commitment to the working women and men of this state.

In fact, he just called my home last week, which was the last time I talked to him, about a question concerning the pending regional caucuses for the formation of the Democratic presidential primary election slates in this state. Sadly, I guess that was our way of saying goodbye to each other.

Like his father, Bob, who once ran for the state legislature in District 12 (1994), Pat was an union man, who knew how important it was to protect the workers in a state that is often not friendly to the workers. And Pat, like his father, was an extremely hard working volunteer over the years in the registering of voters, too.

Pat never gave up, either, and his victories spoke of his relevance and commitment, and his defeats fired up a persistence to never give up in his fight to protect the worker, the middle class, and their importance and necessary element for any true democracy to survive.

In retrospect, I don’t think that Pat was ever totally accepted by the elite within the South Dakota Democratic Party. But that’s okay, because I am confident that he registered far more Democratic voters overtime and served far more terms in Pierre, than most of the critiquing elite ever did, or succeeded in doing. And I think he knew that and was at peace with that. And so am I, and you should all be, too.

So may Pat now rest in peace. His call in life is now ours more than ever, and let us not let what he fought for, for the workers of this state, perish in his absence.

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