Gubernatorial debates to help students get to know candidates

Jessie Markovetz

Jessie MarkovetzEditor-in-chief

Students’ Association is sponsoring Gubernatorial Debates for students, faculty and community members to get to know the candidates and their stances on the issues.

The Republican Gubernatorial Debate with Mark Barnett, Mike Rounds and Steve Kirby was held today at 6:30 p.m. in the South Dakota Art Museum. The Democratic Debate with Jim Abbott, Robert Hockett, Jim Hutmacher and Ron Volesky will also be in the Art Museum on April 30 at 6:30 p.m.

Abbott, of Vermillion, was the 17th President of the University of South Dakota. He was a former State Representative and was a Congressional Candidate in 1996.

Hockett filed as a gubernatorial candidate just recently. He is a LaRouche Activist.

Hutmacher, a Water Well Drilling Contractor of Oacoma is a State Senator.

Volesky is a State Senator and Attorney

Republican Candidates are Mark Barnett, Steve Kirby and Mike Rounds.

Barnett is South Dakota’s Attorney General.

Kirby, a Sioux Falls businessman, is a former lieutenant governor.

Rounds is a businessman and an former State Senate Majority Leader.

SA Senator Molly Lefholz hopes that a large number of students will attend the debates. Leholz said she believes many students don’t get involved in politics because they don’t believe the government directly affects them.

“The apathy with most college students is extremely high,” Lefholz said. “It makes my heart hurt to even think that someone doesn’t take a mere moment to read up on issues and express their power through the civil responsibility to vote. You cannot complain about anything at all unless you vote.”

Some students and faculty members have started taking notice of the advertisements candidates are running. Democrat Delmer Lonowski, associate professor of political science at SDSU, has been struck by the inconsistency of the Kirby ads.

“He stresses that he is a conservative Republican. First, is there any other kind in South Dakota?” Lonowski said. “Second, his ideas about job development and education really seem quite liberal. Is he really a conservative?”