Vote for Stephanie Herseth on Nov. 5

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For the first time in several years, the two major parties have offered two good choices in all three major South Dakota races. In the next three weeks, the Collegian will examine who will do the most for South Dakota college students in the U.S. House of Representatives, the governor’s office and the U.S. Senate.

In the race for South Dakota’s sole seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, youth challenges experience. Stephanie Herseth has returned to her home state to challenge Bill Janklow, a man who has been inextricably bound to South Dakotan politics since 1966.

When you step into the voting booth on Nov. 5, cast your vote for Stephanie Herseth. She’s the best candidate for South Dakota college students.

Janklow certainly offers a good choice for South Dakotans. His years of political service indicate that he has the experience necessary for the job. In addition, he has close ties to the current political administration and should be able to encourage the President to sign South Dakota-friendly legislation that the President may be leery of.

Why vote Herseth then?

Janklow’s education record is poor at best. Under his latest eight-year reign as governor, South Dakota schools have seen an increased need for opt-outs. Perhaps this is because Janklow has not increased education spending like he has for prisons.

According to The Argus Leader, spending on prisons in South Dakota has increased to well over 100 times what it was in 1985. Spending on education in South Dakota has only increased by about two times what it was in 1985.

While Janklow increased technology in schools and trained teachers to use it, he didn’t raise teacher salaries, despite repeated cries from the public that he should. Teacher salaries have remained the last in the nation under his watch.

Finally, Janklow is used to being in charge. As governor, Janklow is used to being number one. When he gets to Washington, D.C., he will be number 400-something. How will a man used to power cope with being so far down the totem pole?

Herseth is not a perfect candidate. Her dreams of keeping children in South Dakota in perpetuity are a nice idea and her plans to do so are solid, but one must admit that these plans are a bit idealistic. In addition, Herseth’s more liberal values may clash with some of this state’s admittedly conservative population.

However, Herseth supports increasing funding for public education. She wants to help make universities cheaper to attend for South Dakota youth.

In addition, Herseth could very well be South Dakota’s new political superstar. No less than Tom Daschle encouraged her to run for office over the years.

Now that she is, it is time for South Dakota to give her a chance to prove herself.

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