SD Legislative Candidate Survey: John Sjaarda
BRANDON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - John Sjaarda is a Republican running for election to the South Dakota State House in District 2. District 2 includes the communities of Brandon, Valley Springs, and Corson. Sjaarda and two others are running in this district, Republican David Kull and Democrat Gary Leighton.
1. Who are you? Tell us about yourself in 100 words or less.
John Sjaarda, farmer from Valley Springs, married to Kaye, father of 4 and foster dad. I am a conservative Christian. I value family and I have a strong work ethic.
2. What prompted you to run for office?
I’ve always had an interest in politics so when I learned there was an open seat in our district, I pursued how to get involved. I want to protect the future of South Dakota for my family and all South Dakota families.
3. What public policies are you passionate about? What would your policy priorities be in Pierre?
As I have been talking to voters in the campaign process, I have heard a lot of concern about property rights regarding Eminent Domain and the proposed carbon pipeline plan to go through our District. They have concerns about the dangers of this kind of pipeline and how a company has the ability to take away their property rights for private gain. I fully support them and will work on ways to strengthen laws to protect the landowner against private companies’ use of Eminent Domain. I’ve also heard a lot of concern from parents and grandparents about the things our kids are having to face in our culture. They want to protect them from the extreme things we’ve seen creep in the last several years. I plan to preserve traditional values this country was founded upon.
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?
Yes I think because we have a budget surplus currently, we should let people keep more of their own money. Cutting the grocery tax is a great way to give a tax break to all South Dakotans.
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 support the law the way it is right now, but I’m willing to have discussion on certain parts of it.
6. Recreational marijuana is on the ballot in November. If it passes, would you commit to legalizing it?
Yes, but there will be a lot of work to do to make sure it is dispensed properly and used appropriately. For example, not while at work or while driving.
7. What is the most important quality for an elected official to possess?
8. Who do you take inspiration from, and why?
My wife, in the decision to run, she has been really supportive of me, done a lot of the work with me and I wouldn’t be doing this without her.
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.
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