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SD State Legislature Candidate Survey: Jake Schoenbeck

South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)
South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)(DAKOTA NEWS NOW)
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 4:28 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Jake Schoenbeck is running in the Republican primary for South Dakota State House District 2. Schoenbeck faces three primary opponents; John Sjaarda, David Kull, and Jeffrey Lloyd Shawd.

Jake Schoenbeck
Jake Schoenbeck (TOM NELSON | Jake Shoenbeck)

1. Tell us about yourself?

My name is Jake Schoenbeck and I live on the Eastside of Sioux Falls. I was born and raised in South Dakota in a conservative Catholic family. After I graduated High School, I went to the University of Minnesota where I studied finance and business law. I quickly realized Minneapolis was not where I wanted to start a family, so I moved home to South Dakota. I currently work for Plains Commerce Bank as an internal auditor. My dog Torii and my girlfriend Hannah keep me busy in between knocking on doors during this campaign season. When I’m not at your doorstep, you can likely find me with friends at some event in our community.

2. Why are you running for this office?

I have had a passion for politics since I was a child. I was the State Chairman for the Teenage Republicans (TARs) and I’ve been a Delegate to the State Convention since I could vote. I believe our state needs strong conservative voices to keep our state growing. For me, Conservative means pro-life, pro-2 amendment, pro-business, and of course fiscal responsibility among other things. I’m running to be that conservative, common sense voice in Pierre.

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

Education. As a young guy, I’m always looking to the future and education will always be the most important cornerstone for the future of our state and our kids. I want to ensure that our students have classroom environments that foster learning and are devoid of distractions. That means finding a solution for juvenile detention facilities in South Dakota so that troubled youth are given the attention they need and are not a distraction in the classroom. I hope to be a key player in introducing a bill that finds that solution.

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

I served as a Delegate to the State Convention in 2014 and 2018. In 2014, I served as a member of the Platform Committee where I helped craft the policies that drove the GOP Platform 2014. Because I believe in our youth, I personally pushed for the platform to include a formal endorsement of the College Republicans and the Teenage Republicans. The endorsement was ratified during that convention. Additionally, I have made significant efforts to get to know the current lawmakers in Pierre and learn from their experiences. Those people include Rep. Doug Barthel and Gov. Kristi Noem, both of whom have endorsed me.

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

I do support some measure of tax relief, but we have to be careful when it comes to messing with our state’s finances. It seems like some people have stars in their eyes with all of the federal covid money pouring into our state. That money will not always be here and we can not make financial choices based on a one-time surplus. Further, we are facing record-high inflation and that will impact our state’s finances significantly. When it comes to actual tax relief, I think we need to address the rising property taxes that are affecting everybody.

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

I work in the banking industry, so I’ve seen the craziness that has surrounded our housing market. We have to continue to find solutions for this problem. I believe the housing bill passed in the legislature, this last year, was a good first step in addressing the issue. There is no silver bullet to this problem. I will do everything possible to find additional solutions to our state’s housing problem.

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?

In order to keep our communities safe, we have to ensure the security of our penal system. This means building out our prisons to ensure we have space to lock up the people that belong there. Additionally, we need to increase the pay of our correctional staff. We have one of the lowest pay for correctional staff in the nation. We need to fix that.

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

As somebody who left the state and came back, I think I have a unique perspective on this. I would pin it down to three things. 1. Family, if your family is here, you will likely come back. 2. Housing, housing has to be affordable to live here and grow a family. 3. Opportunities, there have to be well-paying jobs with good benefits that young people want to take. While the legislature can’t do anything about number 1, we can address housing and we can continue the state remains open for business. Those things will keep our youth in the state.

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

I have spoken to our Secretary of State, Steve Barnett. From what he’s told me and what I’ve learned elsewhere, the elections of our state have the utmost integrity. In our country, we have the opportunity to express our voice at the ballot box. Let’s continue to do everything we can to ensure that everybody that is eligible to vote has the opportunity to do so and do so legally.

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 very glad that our state has a trigger law in place and until the legislature meets in 2023, I believe that will be sufficient as a stop-gap. In 2023, I would support measures to allow abortions only in the case of the three exceptions: Mother’s life, rape, and incest. Otherwise, I do not believe abortion should be legal in the state of South Dakota.

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

I support the legalization of marijuana in South Dakota. I believe it is likely that the drug will become federally legal within the next few years. The last thing we want is to be the last dog at the bowl, no pun intended. If we legalize it now, we can get the laws in place to police the drug before the floodgates are open federally. Additionally, the tax revenue from the sale of marijuana will have significant benefits to the bottom line of our state and might offer some a solution to tax relief in other areas.

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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