SD State Legislative Candidate Survey: Joe Donnell
ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Joe Donnell is running in the District 1 State Senate race. The district includes portions of Brown, Day, Marshall, and Roberts counties. He faces one primary challenger, Michael Rohl.
1. Tell us about yourself?
Joe Donnell is the founder and director of Warriors Circle, a Christian nonprofit dedicated to developing leaders amongst the Indigenous people of North America. Joe has a Master’s Degree in Theology and has created a model of leadership development that has lifted many lives out of poverty and addiction. Joe wakes up every day with a passion to help people become all that God created them to be.
2. Why are you running for this office?
Like my neighbors, I have witnessed a slow decline in the representation of our values in District 1. Our District places a high value on Freedom, Faith, and Family. As a husband and father, I have a deep conviction to ensure that our freedoms are not swept away by liberal policies, stand firm for our traditional values, and fight for a bright future for our children.
3. What would be your top three priorities if elected?
Freedom – I will ensure that individual rights and limited government are a priority.
Faith – Resist CRT and liberal policies that infringe upon our religious liberties. Roe v Wade will be overturned; it’s essential that our laws are clear and concise once sent back to the states. I will ensure our current trigger law that needs to be tweaked is ready.
Family – We need clarity in our laws regarding parental rights, freedom of school choice, and protection for our children within the school system in bathrooms and other facilities.
4. What relevant experience would you bring to the office?
I am a South Dakotan – born and raised. I am a small business owner, and I have spent my life working and serving the people of South Dakota. I will now bring that experience to Pierre as the Senator for District 1
5. Do you support tax relief for South Dakotans? If so, what type and how would you make it happen?
Yes, I would support legislation like HB1327 that would have decreased our taxes by .5% on everyday products and services like sales, furnishing, gas, electricity, water, etc., a bill my opponent killed in committee.
6. Housing availability has become an issue for many South Dakotans. How would you seek to make housing more affordable?
I am working right now with a nonprofit to obtain funding that will effectively allow many South Dakotans the opportunity to purchase a home and own their land. SD can lead the charge and get our people into a much better financial situation through innovative builds like tiny home pocket communities.
7. South Dakota correctional facilities have been dealing with a number of issues, most prominent among them overcrowding and staffing shortages. What would you do to help combat these issues?
I have spent most of my adulthood working with the youth of our state and those who are incarcerated. It’s time that we re-consider our correctional facilities. There are many godly ways to reform our criminal justice system and make our correctional facilities a system of transformation. We can build up young men and women who are set free of addictions and incarceration and prepared to be contributing members of society. Let’s not forget our current criminal justice system was primarily impacted by Joe Biden and the Clintons in the 1994 criminal bill.
8. What steps should the legislature take to entice young people to remain in the state?
South Dakota is an extremely attractive state, and quite honestly, its only getting better with the expansion of Dakota State University and so on. Our taxes are low; we enjoy excellent healthcare, and many other freedoms that are rare in many other places. One of the most significant areas where we fall short is in affordable housing. As mentioned previously, I have solution to that problem; tiny home pocket communities.
9. Do you support any changes to the way elections are run in South Dakota?
We must have fair elections, period. There are things that can be done that ensures proper ID’s are accepted at the polling stations etc. that will safeguard all legal South Dakotan’s can vote.
10. A U.S. Supreme Court decision is looming on a landmark abortion case that could ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade. Governor Kristi Noem has indicated she would like to ban abortion outright, and a “trigger law” already on the books would so, with only an exception in place when the mother’s life is at risk. Do you support banning abortion to this extent? If not, what exceptions would you like to see made?
I support banning abortion. Murdering our young is the vilest and most barbaric practice we have ever allowed within our borders. Protecting our babies is mandatory in a civilized society.
11. What is your stance on legalized, recreational marijuana in South Dakota?
As someone who has journeyed alongside many who have been ravaged by the effects of addictions, I am wholly against the recreational use of marijuana. IF the people vote to legalize it, I will stand with the demand of the people and ensure that laws are appropriately put into place to protect our children.
State legislative candidates in contested districts this primary season were emailed the same survey to complete for Dakota News Now/KOTA Territory News. Candidates were asked to keep their responses limited to roughly 4-5 sentences for each question. With the exception of a quick spelling and grammar check, answers were not edited by the poster. Those who responded to the survey questions had their results posted.
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