SD Legislative candidate survey: Matthew Tysdal

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 6:16 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Matthew Tysdal is a Democrat running for the South Dakota State Senate in District 14. District 14 is located southeast of Sioux Falls, with a western border that runs along the Big Sioux River and an eastern border that runs along Highway 11 between E. 18th Street and E. 57th Street. Tysdal will face incumbent Republican Larry Zikmund in the general election.

Matthew Tysdal is a Democrat running for the South Dakota State Senate in District 14.
Matthew Tysdal is a Democrat running for the South Dakota State Senate in District 14.(Submitted)

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

I am a lifelong South Dakotan and former soldier in the Army National Guard.  I grew up in the Black Hills where my father worked at the Homestake Goldmine.  I was educated in public schools and went to college at the University of South Dakota.  I believe South Dakota is the best place in America to live and I am so fortunate to be able to make my life here.

2. What prompted you to run for office?

I’ve lived all over this state, and know that South Dakotans are honest, hard working people. I think our Legislature often fails to live up to our shared South Dakota values and that it can do better for the people of this state.

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

I am not running to be a single-issue legislator.  However, ensuring our education system is the absolute best it can be will always be a top priority for me, because education is the state’s best lever of upward economic mobility.  I am also eager to make sure we are investing in our infrastructure needs and workforce development so that we build a strong and vibrant economy.

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 am in favor of cutting the grocery sales tax, so long as we can do it in a fiscally responsible way that does not require us to compromise our priorities.  I believe South Dakota’s budget is healthy enough that this can be done.

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?

Yes, the legislature should allow for exceptions in the case of rape and incest.  In addition, the law needs to be clarified as to what it means to preserve the life of the mother, so that we do not put medical providers in the position of not knowing if and when they can take actions that are in their patient’s best interest.  The government needs to limit its involvement in healthcare decisions that should take place between doctor and patient.  But the legislature should also focus on pro-family policies that help negate the need for an abortion in the first place.  That includes ensuring pregnant women have access to the medical care they need to deliver a healthy baby, and that a new child has the food, shelter and healthcare he or she needs after being born.

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

Yes. The voters spoke on this issue in 2020 when they adopted Amendment A.  If IM 27 is passed, I will carry out the people’s decision.

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

More than anything, an elected official needs to be able to listen.  We are all human, and so it is important that we be open to listening to one another and, when necessary, be able to admit our faults and adjust our thinking.

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

I take inspiration from the men and women in uniform who serve our country so selflessly.  I will always be grateful for my time in the military and the valuable lessons I learned serving our country.

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.