Democratic Legislators Elect New Leadership

Sioux Falls — Job creation, stronger schools and a smarter, leaner government are the goals that Democratic leaders who were elected Saturday by their legislative colleagues.

Jason Frerichs was elected Senate Minority Leader and Bernie Hunhoff was elected House Minority Leader for the upcoming term of the South Dakota Legislature.

Senator Frerichs said the first priority is to deal with an expected $100 million shortfall in the budget. “We must get our fiscal house in order, and part of that involves setting priorities for the state.” Frerichs added, “The Republicans have avoided the issue for the past eight years. We can’t afford to do everything that everybody wants, so we need to decide where we can make the most difference with limited resources.”

Representative Hunhoff said job creation is the Democrats top priority. “Education and stronger schools are the best way to create jobs. Whether you want to reduce welfare costs, improve jobs, encourage entrepreneurism or cut prison budgets – education is the solution.” Hunhoff added, “Sadly, it has not been the priority for our colleagues on the other side of the aisle.”

Hunhoff and Frerichs said their caucuses are energized about the upcoming session and they intend to offer bold new ideas on how to exert more discipline in the budget process, create good jobs and build stronger schools.

Other leaders elected on today in Sioux Falls

Senate Democrats

Leader – Jason Frerichs – Wilmot

Assistant Leader – Jim Hundstad – Bath

Whip – Jim Bradford – Pine Ridge

Caucus Chair – Angie Buhl – Sioux Falls

House Democrats

Leader – Bernie Hunhoff – Yankton

Assistant Leader – Mitch Fargen – Flandreau

Whip – Susy Blake – Sioux Falls

Whip – Peggy Gibson – Huron

Caucus Chair – Steve Street – Revillo

Read more posts in Press Releases • Permalink