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SD State Legislative Candidate Survey: Kerry Loundenslager

South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)
South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)(DAKOTA NEWS NOW)
Published: Jun. 4, 2022 at 10:27 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Kerry Loudenslager is running in the Republican primary for South Dakota State House District 12. District 12 is made up of southwest Sioux Falls. Heisey faces four primary opponents; Greg Jamison, Amber Arlint, Cole Heisey, and Gary Schuster.

1. Tell us about yourself?

I was born in Sioux Falls, SD and proud of it. At age 5, our family moved to Brewster, MN, a small farming community 1 hour east of Sioux Falls, where my father was a school teacher/Superintendent. I am a “Twin” and one of six children – all of whom earned college degrees. After a busy childhood with school, athletics, band and work, I earned my B.S. Degree at USD – then Army where I served nearly 28 years before retiring at the rank of Colonel. While serving, I earned my Master of Arts Degree in Human Resources Development, graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, then selected for the U.S. Army War College. After Army, I pursued a career in business and spent 15 years with a Fortune 100 Firm, retiring as an executive back in my favorite place, Sioux Falls. As a high school/collegiate athlete, I’m an avid sports fan. I love to golf, fish, travel and spend quality time with family/friends. Doreen and I have been married 39 years and we have 3 sons – all veterans and current or former members of the South Dakota National Guard, and 2 granddaughters.

2. Why are you running for this office?

There is a concerted and intentional Marxist movement taking place right now by the left to undermine our values and “Way of Life” here in America, to include South Dakota. This movement defies our basic moral principles, education system, sovereignty, law & order and National Security. I’m running to take a stand against this movement and to preserve/promote our conservative values and defend our Constitution and God given unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

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

In a world filled with divisiveness and contempt, my top three priorities are to advocate for unity, preserve/promote South Dakota’s fundamental conservative values and to defend our Constitution and “God-Given” unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

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

I am the only Veteran running for this office which gives me an advantage in fighting for veteran benefits. I believe serving in the State Legislature is my next “Calling” and God has shaped me/prepared me throughout my entire life for this very relevant servant role to achieve His ends. I have been groomed as a servant leader, both in the military and business arenas. In the military, I enlisted as a Private E-1 and retired as a “full-bird” Colonel, working at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels leading thousands of soldiers and building consensus at the highest levels in the Department of Defense. As a business owner and Managing Partner of a Fortune 100 Financial Firm, I have done the same while building relationships along the way. Unlike most of my opponents, I’m now retired which allows me to dedicate my time, on a full-time basis if necessary, to serve my constituents. I am ready to serve South Dakota!

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

Like most South Dakotans, I appreciate the fact we have no state income tax and I would like to keep it that way. Unlike many states, South Dakota is fiscally responsible and has done a superb job of managing the budget, revenues and surplus. As a result of record revenues/surplus, I believe we are now in a position to provide property tax relief for South Dakotans. Once elected, one of my first agenda items will be to conduct a task analysis on this issue and consult with the Legislative Research Council and Department of Revenue along with other key State/County agencies to determine how best to make it happen.

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

There are a number of existing programs that are already in place to assist South Dakotans with safe, sanitary and affordable housing. I’m just not sure how many people are actually aware of them. One of my goals would be to ensure South Dakotans are bombarded with information to further create awareness. The South Dakota Housing Development Authority (SDHDA) website is a great place to start: https://www.sdhda.org/housing-development I would also utilize the Legislative Research Council to further explore support opportunities and funding programs in partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, local governments, nonprofit organizations and the private sector.

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?

Before I could answer this question, I would first need to leverage the South Dakota Department of Corrections, the Legislative Research Council and others to fully understand the scope and magnitude of the problems. It would be irresponsible for me to do otherwise and to “shoot from the hip” on such an important issue that not only affects inmates and staff, but also family members and the community at large.

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

This is another one of those topics to where I would first need to fully understand the issue and leverage resources to get the facts. I would start with the Department of Labor and Regulation and the Legislative Research Council to determine “Why” young South Dakotans are leaving the state and what is currently being done to retain them. As I understand it, some of the reasons are lower pay, fewer opportunities, lack of cultural diversity and entertainment, and others. Getting factual information (from the experts) about the problem first, followed by identifying and evaluating potential courses of action to fix the problem, along with identifying required resources, are all fundamental to the “Decision Making Process.”

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

I recently visited with a precinct Superintendent of Elections and former poll worker about election procedures and believe our election system is quite secure. However, I am concerned about potential problems that could occur if we don’t continue to closely monitor every element of the process. A few examples include potential hacking of “internet-connected” voting machines, algorithm manipulation, ballot harvesting and other irregularities. Obviously, our election process must be honest, accurate and legitimate – and limited to only those who are eligible to vote. We must use all means necessary to ensure the process meets these high standards and I welcome any discussion to make it even better.

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?

Yes, I am “Pro-Life” and support banning abortion and protecting the sanctity of life at any or every stage of life. This is our most fundamental right. As a Christian Conservative, I will defend our Constitution and “God-Given” unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

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

I oppose expanding marijuana use for recreational purposes. Numerous studies imply these drugs have harmful effects for the health and well-being of individuals, families, and society. Sound public policy decisions should be designed to protect and sustain the health and well-being of our society, both now and in future generations.

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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