It was a dark, cold and blustery night last Tuesday, November 6th as the first 'real' snow of the season began to fall in Redfield and General Election results continued to roll in at 11 p.m. The Redfield Press had been sent to the printers by 5p.m. that day, so it would be another week before the results would come out in the press.
However, by social media posts, it was obvious that people everywhere were listening closely to the radio and checking updates on their phones in anticipation. With talks of the "red wave" and the "blue wave" each aiming to completely overwhelm the other this election season, the two parties seemed to be more decidedly divided than ever before. Even so, after the waves collided, neither seemed to have overwhelmed the other. The Republicans increased their control of the Senate and the Democrats increased their control in the House of Representatives.
In the red state of South Dakota, it was a surprise to many that the race for governor was so tight with Republican candidate Kristi Noem and Democratic candidate Billie Sutton neck and neck with each other, but Noem came out on top with 52 percent of South Dakota's votes (158,947), just a little above Sutton's 47 percent (143,333). Both Sutton and Kristi visited Redfield during their campaigns and talked with Mayor Akin, city council members, law enforcement, local leaders and citizens. Even though both Noem and Sutton had ample local support during their visits, there seemed to be a slight shift in local thought favoring Sutton this election season. In the Spink County election results, Sutton received 18 more votes than Noem, giving him 50 percent of the local votes (1,394) and Noem came in just a hair less at 49 percent of the local votes (1,376). Liberal candidate, Kurt Evans, obtained 1 percent of the local votes in Spink County (37).
Even so, Spink County precincts 9 and 10 voted Republican when it came to District 3 County Commissioner, establishing Republican Dustin Rische as the new county commissioner by a 63 percent vote (358) over Independent Craig Johnson's 37 percent (206).
According to poll takers, the Armory in Redfield saw steady traffic all day as locals hurried to the polls to cast their ballots. Now, after all have spoken, we head into a new season with the first female Governor in the state's history and a host of new political leaders.
"I want to thank my family…success comes from strong families. You've heard me talk throughout this campaign on the importance of strong families. I want to use every opportunity that we have for kiddos in South Dakota to grow up with families that love them, support them and help them be successful," said Noem in her thank-you speech."…Growing up on my family farm and ranch, my dad had a dream. He worked every day because he wanted all four of his kids to have the opportunity to stay in South Dakota and farm together if they wanted to. And that is my dream for every single child in this state as well — to create opportunities so every single one of them can stay here with their families if they so choose."
Noem also said she plans to address education, meet workforce needs, go after affordable housing and affordable health care, deal with the mental health crisis in South Dakota and address the rising crime and drug issues in South Dakota.
"Thank you for your kindness, thank you for your support and thank you for your prayers," said Noem. "May God bless you and my God bless the great state of South Dakota."