SD State Legislative Candidate Survey: Lee Schoenbeck

South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)
South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)(DAKOTA NEWS NOW)
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 10:38 PM CDT
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WATERTOWN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Lee Schoenbeck is running in the District 5 State Senate race. The district is located in Codington county, and is made up largely of Watertown. He faces one primary challenger, Colin Paulsen.


1. Tell us about yourself?

I was born and raised in Webster. My dad was a mechanic and my mom was busy at home raising us 8 kids  My wife, Donna, and I have raised our family in Watertown.

2. Why are you running for this office?

We have many new legislators and I’d like to mentor them. While not term limited, if elected, I will retire after this term.

3. What would be your top three priorities if elected?

Education funding, juvenile justice reform, and nursing home funding.

4. What relevant experience would you bring to the office?

I’ve been the head of the Senate for four years, and am well versed on issues that affect Watertown and South Dakota.

5. Do you support tax relief for South Dakotans? If so, what type and how would you make it happen?

We need to stabilize property taxes.

6. Housing availability has become an issue for many South Dakotans. How would you seek to make housing more affordable?

The workforce housing infrastructure legislation that I had a major role in passing last year, is our best shot. It needs tweaking next year.

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?

We need to build more prison space.

8. What steps should the legislature take to entice young people to remain in the state?

We need to go out and recruit young people to run (for office). I have worked harder on that than any South Dakotan these past three years.

9. Do you support any changes to the way elections are run in South Dakota?


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 am good with our trigger law that I helped pass.

11. What is your stance on legalized, recreational marijuana in South Dakota?

I’m not a supporter of legalizing pot.

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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