SD State Legislative Candidate Survey: Tyler Tordsen
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Tyler Tordsen is running for the South Dakota State House in District 14. The district is located southeast of Sioux Falls. He faces two primary challengers; Taylor Rehfeldt and Gina Schiferl.
1. Tell us about yourself?
I’m a lifelong South Dakotan who was born in Sioux Falls, grew up in Rapid City, is a Sisseton Wahpeton tribal member and University of South Dakota (USD) graduate. I’m happily married to my wife and best friend, Erika. I’m also a father to my two sons, Emmett (2) and Atlas (1-month). Visit tylertordsen.com to learn more about me.
2. Why are you running for this office?
I’m running for a district 14 state house seat for three reasons. 1) because of my family; 2) because of my passion for helping South Dakotans like the individuals and families in district 14; and 3) because I believe my life and leadership experiences make me well-equipped to contribute to the wellbeing of our state.
3. What would be your top three priorities if elected?
There is no question that South Dakota is the best place to live, work, and raise a family. My top priorities if elected to the South Dakota Legislature would be to help keep our communities strong, our economy vibrant, and our people number one. Visit tylertordsen.com to learn more about where I stand and what I believe.
4. What relevant experience would you bring to the office?
On top of being a lifelong South Dakotan with roots all across our state, I’ve had experience and interest in the State Legislature that dates back to my youth. I’m a political science and economics graduate from the University of South Dakota. During my time in college, I served as student body president my senior year, I was a former intern to the South Dakota Senate Majority Leader and the Governor’s Office. I’ve spent the last seven years working for U.S. Senator Mike Rounds, serving as his Southeast Regional Director and State Director of Tribal Affairs. These roles allow me to work directly with constituents, helping South Dakotans through issues arising with the federal government, promoting communication to and from the Senator, and overseeing the operations and management of his Sioux Falls office.
5. Do you support tax relief for South Dakotans? If so, what type and how would you make it happen?
Yes, whenever the needs of the state are met and revenue projections support it, I will gladly champion tax relief for South Dakotans. Top of mind for me is the need for some sort of property tax relief. I’m looking forward to reviewing the products of the legislature’s 2022 interim study committees on the matter.
6. Housing availability has become an issue for many South Dakotans. How would you seek to make housing more affordable?
Housing availability is an issue I hear about often, even though the needs are unique to individual communities. Solutions need to focus on ways to allow homebuyer ready folks to afford homeownership, and also ways that incentivize builders to want to build the homes in the first-time homebuyer price range. I am curious to see how the implementation efforts from this past legislative session are going before assuming we need additional legislation, funding, or change.
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 realize it’s an important role of government to provide for safety and therefore think we need to support the law enforcement and correctional community by being responsive to their needs. I also understand the legislature is planning an interim study committee and a legislative taskforce on this matter beginning this summer. I look forward to seeing what recommendations may come from these studies and always welcome ideas from constituents of district 14.
8. What steps should the legislature take to entice young people to remain in the state?
South Dakota is naturally a beautiful state filled with exciting opportunities to live, work, and play, including communities like Sioux Falls that consistently ranks as one of the best cities in the country for young professionals. We need to continue to support policies that keep South Dakota a low tax burden state with growing employment opportunities. We also NEED to support higher education as an avenue to educate, retain, and train our talent, with high job placement in-state to keep our young people here.
9. Do you support any changes to the way elections are run in South Dakota?
I believe South Dakota gets our elections process right. Our elections are smart, secure, and safe. I would be open to considerations on how to increase voter turnout and how to better limit voter fatigue, such as encouraging the combining of school board, city, county, state, and federal elections to coincide on similar dates.
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?
While a final decision has yet to be made by the U.S. Supreme Court, I understand the enormous impact overturning Roe v. Wade would have on this country. I support South Dakota’s “trigger law” and support banning abortion with limited exceptions. When I tell others of my pro-life beliefs, I also emphasize the importance of supporting life before and after birth, and from childhood through adulthood. I imagine most of the decision-making on this would be done via special session with the current legislature, but I will be ready to provide input and decision-making should this matter come before future legislative sessions.
11. What is your stance on legalized, recreational marijuana in South Dakota? It appears South Dakota voters will have the opportunity to decide which direction we want to go as a state in regards to marijuana. Do we want to see the legalization of recreational marijuana, or are we satisfied with having legalized medicinal marijuana for those in need? If voters approve legalizing recreational marijuana in November, I will respect the outcome of the voters and will work towards the responsible and efficient implementation during the 2023 legislative session.
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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