SD State Legislative Candidate Survey: Rachel Dix
ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Rachel Dix is running in the District 3 State Senate race. The district is located entirely in Brown County, and accounts for most of the city of Aberdeen. She faces one primary challenger, current Sen. Al Novstrup (R-Aberdeen).
1. Tell us about yourself?
I’m homegrown and understand and enjoy the amazing freedoms offered to our community. My husband, Nathan, and I are most often found in the great outdoors of South Dakota! I’m an avid huntress, with my favorite seasons being east river rifle and archery deer. Nathan and I can be found kayaking, fishing, and hiking across the state during the summer.
2. Why are you running for this office?
I believe one of the most important ways we can keep our state strong is equipping our next generation with the appreciation and understanding of a strong work ethic. I want to highlight the opportunities that our future generations can earn.
3. What would be your top three priorities if elected?
As your senator, I will support increasing our skilled trades workforce, promoting education, and expanding earned homeownership across our state.
4. What relevant experience would you bring to the office?
For the past several years, I have been an advocate for our housing industry. I have collaborated with the National Association of Home Builders and have worked directly with our US Congressional offices to promote housing affordability, workforce solutions and open communication.
Working in nonprofits with limited and governed budgets, I’ve been successful in achieving goals in spite of limited resources. I respect the importance of working with and motivating volunteers to accomplish projects.
5. Do you support tax relief for South Dakotans? If so, what type and how would you make it happen?
I believe that more of our hard earned dollars should stay in our pockets to provide for our families.
I would be interested in learning how the food tax relief will affect our states budget. As we all need to feed our families, this form of tax relief makes logical sense of keeping money in our pockets.
6. Housing availability has become an issue for many South Dakotans. How would you seek to make housing more affordable?
I support the assistance the state will offer this year to develop the infrastructure of subdivisions.
Finding ways to grow the skilled trades workforce that promotes healthy competition in the building market will also be vital.
I’m eager to collaborate across the state to find ways to promote earned homeownership and rents that can be supported by the current average incomes.
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 support the well-researched expansion of the Brown County regional jail that will combat the overcrowding issue here in Aberdeen and alleviate area towns from the cost of new buildings.
In the case of public safety and supervising inmates, the budget for salary and paid training of the correctional officers should be evaluated. Shifting of the budget may even allow non-violent work release programs that do not allow the inmates to sleep away their sentence.
8. What steps should the legislature take to entice young people to remain in the state?
We’re a limited government and “enticing” a generation doesn’t come from the legislature. It comes from our community leaders setting an example and being open-minded to new ideas and cities finding creative ways of growing their workforce and community opportunities.
Aberdeen is doing great things to show the younger generation that their futures can be here. Our colleges help students engage and plant roots in the community. Our Development Corporation is continually assisting small and big businesses in growth plans and workforce efforts. All South Dakota cities that celebrate its tourism attractions highlight so many ways to enjoy a stay-cation in the state.
What the State Legislature can do is support these communities with their efforts, but the enticing efforts begin at the community level.
9. Do you support any changes to the way elections are run in South Dakota?
I believe that a valid ID should be necessary to register to vote and to cast a ballot.
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 pro-life and agree that the exception for the life of the mother should be made.
I would like to see more attention shifted to education about pregnancy prevention. After a child is conceived, it’s no long a single body or a single choice.
All lives are precious and education is key.
11. What is your stance on legalized, recreational marijuana in South Dakota?
By the will of the voters, with the correct regulation & taxation, legalized, recreational marijuana will be seen in South Dakota.
On the regulation side, there will need to be proper policy that keeps our workforce available for employment and protections for our business owners.
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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