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SD State Legislative Candidate Survey: Jessica Bahmuller

South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)
South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)(DAKOTA NEWS NOW)
Published: Jun. 5, 2022 at 11:34 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Jessica Bahmuller is running for the South Dakota State House in District 19. District 19 includes the communities of Parkston, Freeman, and Salem in it. Bahmuller faces four primary challengers; Caleb Finck, Michael Boyle, Roger Hofer, and Drew Peterson.

Jessica Bahmuller is running for the South Dakota State House in District 19.
Jessica Bahmuller is running for the South Dakota State House in District 19.(Submitted)

1. Tell us about yourself?

I have resided in Hanson County for 17 years with my husband Aaron, an OIF Veteran. Our 3 children Brayden, Lily and Archer attend the Hanson School. I have been the Finance Officer for the city for 10 years. I graduated from SDSU with a degree in business and my family owns and operates a distributorship in South Dakota, which provides employment for 50 South Dakota families. I am an avid hunter and serve on several community boards.

2. Why are you running for this office?

Growing up in rural South Dakota and being involved in 4-H and FFA, I realized the importance of community service and working hard for the values in which you believe. I’ve been a strong Conservative, active in the Republican Party my entire life. I know the values of small government and want to preserve our South Dakota way of life for our kids. With ten years of experience working in local government for my neighbors in Alexandria, I’m ready to put my small-town values to work in Pierre for District 19.

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

Small businesses from Main Street to rural farming operations, Local Government (county, school and municipal) and Education

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

Being a mother to 3 children in the public school system gives me the experience no other candidate has. Growing up on a farm and showing livestock gives me the agriculture knowledge needed for District 19.  Being a part of a family owned business in South Dakota I want to protect all Main street businesses and family farms. I am very passionate about our service members and mental health issues that affect all.

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

As a Finance Officer, I understand budgets very well. A budget is a balancing act. As a fiscal conservite I prefer lowering taxes, but I also know those taxes would have to come from somewhere or the budget will need to make cuts.

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

Most of the questions I get as a Finance Officer deal with housing availability. The City of Alexandria is working on our third TIF district. (Tax Increment Financing District). Alexandria is very fortunate to have 2 successful TIFs that have brought many families to our growing community. I see this as a great opportunity to increase housing.

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?

While introducing myself to District 19 residents I was able to meet an employee of a state correctional facility. He shared his concerns about overcrowding and the staffing issues. Staffing issues are common among many businesses in South Dakota. We need to show employees their value to keep them.

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

I want my children to stay in South Dakota. I want them to raise their future families here. I believe this is the greatest state in the nation and I will support bills that will encourage them to stay here.

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

I encourage in person with ID voting, but know that is not always possible. I appreciate that while in Iraq my husband was able to have a voice in our elections.

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 will stand with our Governor on abortion and protect life.

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

In 2020, District 19 was against legalized, recreational Marijuana. As a voice for District 19, I will vote as they do in November of 2022.

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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