SD Legislative Candidate Survey: Dan Andersson

The South Dakota State Capitol Building in Pierre.
The South Dakota State Capitol Building in Pierre.(Austin Goss DNN/KOTA)
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 2:18 PM CDT
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WINNER, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Dan Andersson is running as a Democrat for the South Dakota State Senate in District 21. District 21 is one of the largest legislative districts in the state, including in it the communities of Gregory, Platte, Winner, and Wagner. Its southern border runs along the South Dakota-Nebraska state line. Andersson is looking to unseat Republican incumbent Erin Tobin.

Dan Andersson is running as a Democrat for the South Dakota State Senate in District 21.
Dan Andersson is running as a Democrat for the South Dakota State Senate in District 21.(Submitted)

1. Who are you? Tell us about yourself in 100 words or less.

I am Dan Andersson, 51, originally from Sweden, met my wife Anna in London and live in her home town of Burke since 2014, with our children Sophie 8, Elizabeth 6, Anna 3, and Richard 1. I have worked as a software developer and database analyst for the last 25 years. I became a US citizen in 2017. I speak six languages and have worked in 7 countries on three continents.

2. What prompted you to run for office?

The abysmal performance of the republican majority.

After running South Dakota for decades, they have given us rampant corruption, collapsing bridges and roads full of potholes, an underfunded educational system, a hyper-expensive healthcare system, and a state government that is alienated with the native American tribes. We can do better, and I want to be a part of that.

3. What public policies are you passionate about? What would your policy priorities be in Pierre?

More than anything I care about healthcare. Access to healthcare is a human right, no-one feels free when they have to watch a loved one suffer just because they can’t afford healthcare. Americans pay on average $11,000/year for healthcare, three times more than in countries with universal healthcare systems, and that is not right. This could easily be changed, and my passion is to shine a light on this issue.

4. Cutting the grocery tax has become central to this election cycle. Do you think that the legislature should cut the grocery tax next legislative session? Is there any taxes you would cut instead, or in addition to?

The grocery tax is a very regressive tax that impacts the poorest the most, and I am very much in favor of cutting it.

5. The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier in the year. South Dakota currently has a law that prevents abortion almost completely outright. Are there any exceptions you would like to see the legislature enact? What other laws would you like to see passed to support mothers and families?

I am opposed to the current law and its government overreach into women’s rights to decide over their own healthcare. As for other family friendly policies, both paid family leave and affordable childcare are policies that pay for themselves in the long run.

6. Recreational marijuana is on the ballot in November. If it passes, would you commit to legalizing it?

Yes, 100%, absolutely.

7. What is the most important quality for an elected official to possess?

Being transparent for their constituents about their opinions on issues and on all actions the take in their elected role.

8. Who do you take inspiration from, and why?

I strive to be the politician that I would like to vote for. That means  to have integrity and to be transparent about one’s values, opinions and actions. I can name many role models, but in this context I like Bernie Sanders, who has his moral compass set since long ago, and who doesn’t need to rely on focus groups in order to craft his message. He knows what his opinion is on every issue, and you can take it or leave it, but there is never any ambiguity. I respect that, I think elected officials should be transparent to their constituents.

State legislative candidates in contested districts this election season were emailed the same survey to complete for Dakota News Now/KOTA Territory News. 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.