SD State Legislative Candidate Survey: Spencer Wrightsman
ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Spencer Wrightsman is running in the District 2 State Senate race. The district includes portions of Brown, Clark, Hamlin, and Spink counties. He faces one primary challenger, Steve Kolbeck.
1. Tell us about yourself?
My name is Spencer Wrightsman. I am a resident of Brandon, South Dakota. I have two wonderful sons Kaiden (8) and Rylan (6). I have been employed by Diesel Machinery Incorporated for almost 10 years, working in the Warranty and Construction Administration field. I have been involved heavily throughout the community whether it be with nonprofits, a volunteer coach for the youth baseball programs or as the Head High School Coach in Sioux Falls.
2. Why are you running for this office?
I have been to Pierre countless times testifying in front of multiple committees as well as testifying in front of the South Dakota Supreme Court. I see a large lack of representation for the 18–40-year-old voting base. I have been encouraged to run for elected office after countless hours of prayer, by family members and numerous elected officials, who say I would make a very levelheaded addition to the legislature. Afterall the best way to make a difference is by getting involved, and I am doing just that.
3. What would be your top three priorities if elected?
1. Working with the States department of Education finding cost effective solutions to promote High Quality Education for all students across south Dakota. Parents must be the first choice in deciding how a children’s education should be done, whether that be through our public school system, private school system or even through home schooling.
2. Regulatory reform for small business’s is another issue near and dear to my heart. I grew up working in my parents’ small business and continue working in some locally owned small business’s part time. Many people do not realize the hoops you must jump through to even become licensed in the state of South Dakota. I applaud the current work to relax and roll back these regulations by the governor’s office, but there is still more work to be done.
3. Working to further reduce the tax burden in the state. Working with the governor and her team as well as the House of Representatives, to come up with fiscally responsible solutions to the ever-changing market is key to keeping South Dakota the best place to work and live.
4. What relevant experience would you bring to the office?
I am currently the Treasurer of the Minnehaha County Republican Party. I am the National Committeeman of the South Dakota Young Republicans, I have worked with legislators and help draft bills that have passed in Pierre, I have also served as the Board Secretary and Executive Finance member of the Sioux Empire Baseball Association.
5. Do you support tax relief for South Dakotans? If so, what type and how would you make it happen?
It’s a top issue of my campaign. I wholeheartedly support reducing the tax burden in the State of South Dakota. I do not support tax relief though if it is disguised as a Rob Peter to pay Paul type relief. Tax relief needs to be rolled back completely. For example, the Partridge Amendment, this is to make sure that once conditions are met… i.e. the proper amount raised, that the sales tax rate goes back to 4 percent instead of the current 4.5%, and that the current rate is a temporary sales tax increase.
6. Housing availability has become an issue for many South Dakotans. How would you seek to make housing more affordable?
Working with the SDHDA creatively to promote public private partnerships with tax credits and other state and federal resources to help offset the rising mortgage cost and the skyrocketing property tax levies with come to mind right away. We need to also promote financially literacy, so first-time home buyers are not going house broke when they purchase a home.
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?
First, our men and women in uniform deserve better! We must find commonsense solutions to this overcrowding. I think we need to look at the root of the problem which is almost always a mental health crisis for these people who are behind bars. Paying a low wage is not going to keep the staff morale or level of employees at the high standards everyone deserves. A Raise to all state sponsored employees is one way to entice them to stay. But, sitting down and going behind the scenes in everyday life of a correctional officer is also a MUST DO! Putting ourselves in their shoes is key to finding actual solutions.
8. What steps should the legislature take to entice young people to remain in the state?
Working with state universities and technical colleges is key. By giving these students opportunities to not only get an affordable degree, but by having local employers work through the Build Dakota and STEM sponsored education programs where they are helped financially to offset the rising cost. The only requirement is a good GPA and an agreement to stay working inside of the State of South Dakota.
9. Do you support any changes to the way elections are run in South Dakota?
I think elections are run quite smoothly in South Dakota. I would like to see the voter rolls updated and cleared of deceased and non-registered individuals though. Upholding voter integrity and the South Dakota way of life will always be priorities during an Election year.
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 fully support the trigger law and the Governors Stance on banning abortion all together. Life begins at Conception and ends at Natural Death. And you can rest assured I will fight tooth and nail to keep it that way.
11. What is your stance on legalized, recreational marijuana in South Dakota?
If the Constitution is upheld and the voters approve a Constitutional amendment that does not violate it, I will 100% support the will of the people, Afterall that’s what we are elected to do.
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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