SD State Legislature Candidate Survey: Tim Reisch
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Tim Reisch is running in the Republican primary for South Dakota State House District 8. District 8 includes parts of Sanborn, Miner, Madison, and Flandreau. Reisch faces four primary opponents; Heather DeVries, Casey Crabtree, John Mills, Lecia Summerer, Neal Pinnow, and Thomas J. Brunner.
1. Tell us about yourself?
I am a lifelong resident of South Dakota. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, a Master’s in Administrative Studies, and a Master’s in Strategic Studies. I retired in June of 2019 with over 40 years of military service. I’ve been happily married to my wife Anne for 39 years. We have five children and four grandchildren. We live in Howard where I serve as part-time County Veterans Service Officer and operate a small used farm equipment business.
2. Why are you running for this office?
I’ve lived a life of public service and I enjoy helping others. That, coupled with my experience working at the state and county levels and my interest in agriculture and small business make me believe I can make a difference. I worked directly with members of the state legislature throughout my 18+-year tenure in state government. I have personally drafted many bills and testified in favor and against those introduced by others. I know how to get things done in Pierre and want to use my experience to benefit the interests of the citizens of Brookings, Kingsbury, Lake, and Miner Counties. During this campaign, I’ve traveled thousands of miles crisscrossing this district. I’ve met with hundreds of people to learn what their concerns are, and I’m excited to represent them in Pierre. I’m a homeowner and help my son raise corn and soybeans on our family farm. I believe in protecting life from the moment of conception, and in eliminating government overreach. I offer a fresh perspective on the legislative process, but know my way around the state capitol and will hit the ground running when I get to Pierre.
3. What relevant experience would you bring to the office?
I was elected Sheriff of Miner County at age 24 and was re-elected to four, subsequent 4-year terms. In 2000, Governor Bill Janklow hired me as Deputy Secretary of the SD Department of Corrections (DOC). When Mike Rounds took office as Governor, he asked me to serve on his cabinet as the Secretary of Corrections. When Dennis Daugaard took office, he initially reappointed me as DOC Secretary, and later selected me to be the Adjutant General of the SD National Guard. Governor Kristi Noem reappointed me Adjutant General when she took office in 2019. I’ve personally presented, defended, and executed 17 annual budgets for two different state agencies. I know how state government works and will use that knowledge to the benefit of the citizens of District 8.
4. Housing availability has become an issue for many South Dakotans. How would you seek to make housing more affordable?
The shortage of affordable housing is directly tied (at least to some extent) to the worker shortage we are currently experiencing here in South Dakota. Runaway inflation is exacerbating this problem even more. The ability of state and local governments to solve this problem on their own is limited, but a federal grant program could be developed to incentivize private investors, economic development corporations, and other entities to construct the needed housing units.
5. 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 served as the South Dakota Secretary of Corrections from January 2003 through March of 2011, and again briefly last year following the shake-up at the
penitentiary. Governor Noem showed great leadership in proposing a significant pay raise for hourly correctional employees in the budget she proposed during the 2022 legislative session. A similar wage enhancement needs to be implemented in the 2023 session. Several of our correctional facilities actually pre-date statehood and need to be replaced, but those costs will be astronomical. It’s going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars but public safety is not something we can afford to cut corners on.
6. Do you support tax relief for South Dakotans?
If so, what type and how would you make it happen? I am a conservative, and I believe that government should limit its involvement in citizens’ lives, and only levy the bare minimum amount of taxes needed to provide its services. The government at all levels relies on taxes and fees to pay for the services they provide. I’m all for cutting taxes, but the current staggering levels of inflation have created uncertainty for all Americans. South Dakota is often cited as being one of the most tax-friendly states in the nation. Said another way, we really don’t have a lot of taxes to target for reduction or elimination, but I am open to considering all options to provide relief.
7. What steps should the legislature take to entice young people to remain in the state?
Continue to keep our tax burden among the lowest in the nation. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES INITIATE A STATE INCOME TAX! Support elementary and secondary education as well as our technical schools and state-supported universities. Continue to support agriculture, public safety, clean water, and our state park system.
8. Do you support any changes to the way elections are run in South Dakota?
I believe elections are administered fairly in our state. Registrations are required ahead of time and a form of identification is required at the polls. We must continue to guard against utilizing any voting device that could be manipulated or compromised in any way.
9. 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 a pro-life candidate and I oppose abortion. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, we should act quickly to make sure every unborn child in South Dakota has a chance to be born and live a happy life.
10. What is your stance on legalized, recreational marijuana in South Dakota?
Personally, I oppose recreational marijuana use and I will vote that way this fall, however, if the voters of my district vote to legalize its use, I will not attempt to overrule their decision.
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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