SD Legislative Candidate Survey: Kadyn Wittman

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 12:44 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Kadyn Wittman is a Democrat running for the South Dakota State House in District 15. District 15 is made up of central Sioux Falls, and includes the airport and the Cathedral of Saint Joseph within its boundaries. Wittman is replacing Democrat Jamie Smith on the ballot, who opted to not run for re-election, and instead run for Governor. Historically, District 15 has been a Democrat stronghold.

Wittman is running alongside fellow Democrat incumbent Linda Duba, and will face Republicans Matt Rosburg and Joni Tschetter in the general election.

Kadyn Wittman is running for the South Dakota State House in District 15.
Kadyn Wittman is running for the South Dakota State House in District 15.(Submitted)

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

My name is Kadyn Wittman and I’ve spent the last decade working in the non-profit sector for organizations that advocate for marginalized communities in Sioux Falls and across South Dakota.

2. What prompted you to run for office?

This is my first time running for public office. I decided to run after working at the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when I saw how little community resources and social safety nets existed for our most vulnerable community members.

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

I am very passionate about creating more resources for South Dakota’s low-income and working-class families. I hope to bring a bill this legislative session to provide free state ID’s for South Dakotans whose income falls below the poverty line (12.3% of our state’s population). When working at the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House, this was the single biggest barrier I saw standing between an indigent community member and employment, housing, education, or a bank account. Removing this $28 barrier would allow this population to gain employment and find housing, in addition to opening doors for education access.

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 the grocery tax should be cut. I am hopeful that recreational marijuana passes in South Dakota and we can explore taxation of that industry.

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 in favor of legal and accessible abortion services across our state. I do not believe there should be exceptions because I do not believe access should be limited based on how the pregnancy came to be. This decision lies solely between a pregnant person and their doctor.

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


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

It is difficult for me to choose what I believe to be the most important quality because there are so many. However, I think transparency is one of the most important qualities for elected officials to possess. Transparency across all levels of government helps to promote accountability and ensures that citizens can be fully aware of and engaged in the political process at every step of the way.

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

My family and especially my parents. They have spent the last twenty-five years caring for my younger brother; a quad-amputee who has utilized a wheelchair his whole life. Through their selfless love and service, they taught me what it means to advocate for those less fortunate and show compassion toward our community’s most vulnerable. They have endless patience and grace and the life they have led inspires me to give back and serve others before myself.

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.