SD Legislative Candidate Survey: Jim Stalzer

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 3:37 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Jim Stalzer is running as a Republican for re-election to the South Dakota State Senate in District 11. The district is in southwestern Sioux Falls, with its eastern boundary running along I-29. Stalzer faces Democrat Sheryl Johnson in the general election.

Jim Stalzer is running for re-election to the South Dakota State Senate in District 11.
Jim Stalzer is running for re-election to the South Dakota State Senate in District 11.(Submitted)

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

I’m a husband (55 years), father of two, grandfather of three and great grandfather of one. I’m an Air Force veteran, have a BS in Business Administration along with technical education in electronics and information technology. I have an extra class armature license and have volunteered to provide communications support for a number of non-profit organizations. .For the past forty years I’ve been an NRA Certified firearms instructor and am currently a certified instructor for SD Enhanced Pistol Permits.

My work history includes: 15 years in manufacturing management; 14 years teaching college classes in management; and 21 years with a bank software company where I started  in accounting and transferred to information technology.

2. What prompted you to run for re-election?

I was about to retire and was approached by a number of people who said that they had jobs and families and needed someone who shared their values to serve in the legislature.  I’m running for re-election to my fourth term in the Senate after having served two terms in the House.

I’ve been the prime sponsor of several important bills.  Among them were the veteran’s cemetery, protecting critical infrastructure from sabotage or vandalism, expanding the 211 helpline from 16 counties to all 66 counties (this includes the suicide prevention hotline), and permitting schools to keep and administer Narcan in the event of a drug overdose at school.

With my experience, I believe I can continue to work within the legislature for the benefit the citizens of South Dakota.

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

My primary focus has been to insure that we have limited government and promote free markets for our businesses.

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?

I have not been a proponent of eliminating the grocery tax because the poor (those on food stamps or SNAP) do not pay sales tax on food now.  Therefore, they would receive no benefit from the elimination of the tax on food.  However, if this becomes the only option to reduce taxes, I will support it. My preference would be a reduction in the overall rate of sales tax.  This would at least give real relief to the poor.

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?

At this point I am not a proponent of any changes. I would like to see changes to our adoption laws to make adoption easier and less expensive.

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

While I am personally opposed to recreational marijuana, if passed I would work to implement it in a manor that makes it available, but provides for the safety of the public at the same time.

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

A willingness to study the issues and make informed decisions.

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

Several Governors listed alphabetically: Ron DeSantis of Florida, Greg Abbot of Texas, and Kristi Noem of South Dakota.

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.