I decided to challenge myself and write ONE sentence PRO’s and CON’s of the candidates running in the April Election, here we go;

SIOUX FALLS SCHOOL BOARD (2 seats available)

Bobbie Tibbetts

CON: Sued the District over Title 9 and won. As an active plaintiff in that case it would be a gigantic conflict of interest to serve on the board, and I’m not even sure she can legally serve because of it. And there’s those dang forms!

PRO: Young mother active in the school district and activities.

Stuart Willett

CON: Besides being a MAGAt, Stuart decided the best way to tear down government was to NOT vote ever in Sioux Falls. That’s why he registered to vote a few days before he announced.

PRO: Has some good ideas about reading comprehension and listening to teachers.

Gail Swenson

CON: A bureaucrat for 41 years in education.

PRO: A bureaucrat for 41 years in education. (YES I DID THAT ON PURPOSE)

Marc Murren

CON: Voted for the Gymnastics funding to be yanked, which resulted in a lawsuit (see Bobbie Tibbetts above)

PRO: Wants to work towards more transparency in the district.

Pat Starr

CON: Has sent his adopted and foster children to both private and public schools (he mostly sent children to private school due to some special needs).

PRO: Pat has NEVER voted for a tax increase the 8 years he was on council, he is PRO-OPEN GOVERNMENT and he is active in school athletics as a basketball referee and has built great relationships with parents, coaches and students. Also, Pat is a very honest and modest person and probably one of the most mild-tempered councilors I have ever known. He is also highly ethical. I often tell people, if you vote for the candidate with the highest ethical standards, you can guarantee they will govern that way also.


Jordan Deffenbaugh

CON: Doesn’t have the campaign finances to mount an effective marketing and mailing campaign (but he still has time).

PRO: Is involved with numerous non-profit organizations that help lower income folks, knows his stuff when it comes to Urban Planning (Founding member of Sioux Falls Strongtowns) and has the vigor and knowledge to be an very effective councilor.

Richard Thomason

CON: Lost his last (corrected) primary election and doesn’t really have a strong message.

PRO: He’s a moderate Republican who lost to a couple of right wing weirdos in the legislature.

Allison Renville

CON: Talks a good game when it comes to school district policy and state law but doesn’t really understand city government.

PRO: Works with her fellow tribal members in the community to help the disadvantaged and abused. Would be the first Native woman to be elected to council.


Neil Jeske

CON: Hasn’t lived in Sioux Falls long enough to understand the finer details of city government, but is teachable 🙂

PRO: He has a low tax, low regulation view of local government.

David Zokaites

CON: David is a Fashion Disaster.

PRO: David is a Fashionista.

Miranda Basye (also known as Barney the 5th)

CON: The rumor is she was fired from her last job at the Sioux Metro whatever alliance. Would be nice to know why.

PRO: Has a good background in small business ownership and knows how to turn a wrench.

SW DISTRICT (Uncontested)

Ryan Spellerberg

CON: ZERO TRANSPARENCY. We know absolutely nothing about this person and he didn’t even bother to show up to a candidate forum. Marshall Selberg 2.0.

PRO: ?

NW DISTRICT (Uncontested)

Jennifer Sigette

CON: Another one that has lived and worked in this community for decades and decided to register to vote right before announcing. So not only has she never voted in a city election or for herself, but no one else has either, funny stuff 🙁

PRO: Since she has NO experience in government and she was uncontested, I got the feeling from some of her quotes in the media that she will keep an open mind about planning, etc. So I guess she hasn’t had her ‘specials’ meeting yet where the gifting of the Rubber Stamp occurs and marching orders. Poor girl.

If I had to guess, this election was over before it started. But there are some interesting scenarios. I think if David and Neil or Allison and Jordan can force a runoff (need to get a combined 50% + 1) the race will be more competitive. I am for sure predicting a runoff in the At-Large race (start writing Jordan checks TODAY!) and if Jordan can mount a 1 on 1 against Richard, he CAN beat him. The irony of the Rex Rolfing/Theresa Stehly rule is it may blow up in their faces. Richard could get 49% of the vote in the general and lose in the runoff.

The school board race is incredibly competitive, and with 5 peeps running for 2 seats and it being a plurality, the races could be decided by a handful of votes, and I predict a recount on that election. The 3 strongest candidates are Starr, Murren and Swenson.

10 Thoughts on “PROs & CONs candidate challenge

  1. DontBemad on March 21, 2024 at 5:31 pm said:

    We need new people in power in SF simple as that, tenhaggle is getting old and so is this council

  2. Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on March 21, 2024 at 11:07 pm said:

    We are going from a Selberg to a Spellerberg in the SW District? Is that right? So, am I the only one who sees the conspiracy here? The latter one is also the name of a city park with an indoor aquatic place. Thus, it must be nice to be a councilperson and already have a park named after you. I know Munson once tried to get Skunk Creek named after him, but they stuck with Skunk. But don’t you just hate it when you are stuck with skunk? But we really had no choice, because if we had named it Munson, then next they would have probably came calling for Fawick Park, and then renamed it David Park, which means we would then have had a skunk, I mean a creek named like Dave and a park named after his Munson.

  3. There’s also this problem with naming things after Munson


  4. I think my Ex-GF from HS was a second cousin to Dave, so wouldn’t that have been weird if I would have married her and Dave was my relative by marriage? Of course if I would have married her, I would likely be living on a lake home in Minnesota with her, so it really would not have mattered.

    One of my 1st cousin’s is also a Sanford. So that is weird to.

    I told one my friends from Cali once, “Everyone in the Midwest is related.” and he said, “That would explain why your eyes are so close together.” BAAHAHAHAHA!

  5. Further Fear & Loathing on March 21, 2024 at 11:24 pm said:

    Mockingbird Lane, WhiteChurch Lane, what’s the fxxking difference? They both have a crazy grandpa in the basement who is doxing.

    AND, at Universal Studios, Eddie Munster lives across the street from Beaver Cleaver. So, what’s scarier?… Eddie Haskell or that fiery dragon in the staircase?

    ‘Herman in Taupeville’, however, now that would be a show….. Or, what about a ‘Taupeville Beaver’?…. Better yet, what about a’Limitless Beaver’…. #ThatsMyGirl!

  6. Very Stable Genius on March 21, 2024 at 11:40 pm said:

    I forgot about your Sanford connection. But would have David really been your second cousin by marriage, or actually your first cousin once removed by marriage?

    As far as the close eyes, I guess that would explain Bubbles, most likely the love child of a former South Dakota politician:


    Oh, and I’m actually like King Charles’s fourth cousin like 18 times removed, but I don’t think there’s much chance I’ll ever be the “Spare”. One of my great, great, great…. grandfathers came from England to America in 1629 (Plymouth), and was an indentured servant to Myles Standish and reportedly a descendant of King Henry the II….. I’m not bragging here, but I also have no comment about Kate. 😉

    ( and Woodstock adds: “Yah, but I heard that e-bikes are really big in England”…. )

  7. l3wis on March 22, 2024 at 1:10 am said:

    Weird. I thot you were an heir to a pickling empire?

  8. l3wis on March 22, 2024 at 1:12 am said:

    Bubbles, legendary quote of all eternity.

    “That depends. Can you go f’ck yourself?”

    I think those instructions are on the last page of the Watch Tower.

  9. Senseless on March 22, 2024 at 8:40 am said:

    I was reading the Argus article on the two walking into the City Council without a contest. Why do these candidates keep saying we’ll learn on the job and then claim they will use common sense. What’s common sense? who’s common and what are they sensing?

    Anytime someone claims common sense it tells me they are clueless and bumbling idiots ready to follow the rest of the bumbling idiots.

  10. I wish! But, if I ever ran for office again my slogan would be: “He’s the real dill (deal)!”

    ( and Woodstock adds: “Yah, but I’d replace that word “dill” with another word, if you know what I mean”…. 🙂 )


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