SD Legislative Candidate Survey: David Kull

The South Dakota State Capitol Building in Pierre at sunrise.
The South Dakota State Capitol Building in Pierre at sunrise.(Austin Goss DNN/KOTA)
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 12:16 PM CDT
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BRANDON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - David Kull is running as a Republican for the South Dakota State House in District 2. District 2 is a newly formed district as a result of redistricting. It includes the communities of Brandon, Valley Springs, and Corson. Kull is running alongside Republican John Sjaarda and Democrat Gary Leighton. Of three, none of have been elected to the state legislature before.

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

I’m David Kull and am a candidate in the District 2 House race. My wife Ginnie and I have been married for 46 years and have two sons and two granddaughters. I served on the Sioux Falls Police Department for 30 years, retired for two days and then assumed the position of Brandon Police Chief for an additional 11 years of full-time law enforcement. In 2019 I retired from the Brandon PD and within two weeks took a seat on the Brandon City Council.

2. What prompted you to run for office?

As one can see from my history, I have always been involved in public service and I see the opportunity to serve in the legislature as a way to continue that service. Having both a police and local government background I feel I would bring a needed perspective to Pierre when considering bills that can impact both public safety and municipal government.

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

In the past couple years, we’ve seen an unfortunate uptick in crime and South Dakota isn’t immune from this trend. Case in point would be the number of ‘office involved shootings’ in Sioux Falls over the past year, which is unprecedented in the history of the Sioux Falls Police Department and the Minnehaha County Sheriffs’ Office. So the answer to this question is that public safety and criminal justice will be at the forefront of my mind.

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? Are there any taxes you would cut instead, or in addition to?

The legislature will certainly be tasked to consider the state’s 4.5% share of sales tax on groceries and I can’t predict how that will play out. Of main consideration will be the impact of removing the estimated $100 million from the revenue side of the budget without any clear proposal on replacing those funds, if they’re needed. From my City Council perspective, I was pleased to see the proposal did not extend to the municipal 2% tax on groceries, as that would put a strain on many towns and cities that rely on those funds for providing needed services to their communities.

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?

First off, I am a pro-life candidate and I do believe this is a ‘States Rights’ issue, so I was pleased to see Roe v. Wade overturned and having the issue decided by each state. That said, there will be much debate over the issue of exceptions in the coming session. The risk to the life of the mother being the most important, I don’t see how those exceptions can’t be clarified and supported. I’m certain there will also be debate on the exceptions for rape, incest and non-viable pregnancies where there are additional health risks for the mother. As for other laws to support mothers and families, I’m going to have to wait to see what proposals come forward.

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

I will not be voting for legalization of ‘recreational’ marijuana. (Doesn’t is seem that by tagging it as ‘recreational’, it makes it sound like some sort of sports activity?) However, should it pass this time, I will respect the will of the majority and support the passage of marijuana legalization.

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

I flipped a coin and it landed on it’s edge, so I have to go with both ‘Honesty’ and ‘Civility’.

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

Easy one here. My parents! They truly made me what I am today.

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.