It doesn’t take long to decide that Jeff Barth is a man of integrity.
Mr. Barth and I recently met at the South Dakota Democratic Party headquarters. There is a quiet ferocity about Mr. Barth. He is well-spoken, witty and has an unequivocal love for South Dakota and the United States. We discussed a plethora of topics ranging from chess tournaments and my family’s children’s theater to the Keystone Pipeline, education, and immigration.
Suffice to say in the nearly two hours we chatted, there was not a dull moment, a widespread positive discourse about the promise of South Dakota and the United States.
“Life is an art and with each stroke I’m adding to the picture.”
Mr. Barth admits he has been “blessed” by the grandeur of his picture. His father was a diplomat and he had the opportunity to travel in Europe, South Africa and lived in Washington D.C. He served in the US Army Reserve from 1976-1982. This was an opportunity that continues to fuel his propensity for public service. He is a father, husband and grandfather. He currently holds the position of Minnehaha County Commissioner.
His message is clear. Let’s present a South Dakota and United States that will be good for everyone. A place that we will grow and prosper. As many people have claimed, Rep. Kristi Noem has failed at this in her term since moving to Washington last year.
Noem is a “tea party person” who has gone to Washington to “enrich the rich,” says Barth. She is “a person who obstructs, who isn’t doing the country any favors.” This is a consistent concern of Barth. He continues “if each person does their part, this thing will go.”
You get the sense from Mr. Barth that he wishes to bring back common sense. He wants to bring sensible leadership with a firm position on issues.
“Every person needs to find their gusto,” he began, “for me it is standing up while everyone else is sitting down.”
Mr. Barth believes that government can work. He claims he is not flashy. However, he is a man of values, of principle, of know how.
On his website, Mr. Barth states his beliefs:
- Representing all citizens, not just an extreme faction of either party.
- Government can work and seeking value for our tax dollar investments is key
- A Congressman is elected to do the tough things, not just be re-elected.
- Service to people is key.
There seems to be one thing that resonates with a majority of South Dakotans: Noem isn’t working. A sentiment also echoed by Matt Varilek, Barth’s competition in the Democratic Primary (June 5.)
Mr. Barth hopes to carry a torch for every American. In a video on his website entitled “All People Need to be Represented”, his video ends with “If I’m not doing the right job, get rid of me.” Mr. Barth is a man who wants to work for the everyman.
“If I change your tires and I do everything but put the lug nuts on, it isn’t going to work.”
With obstruction and partisan lines, the tires are missing lug nuts. And Mr. Barth hopes to bring his experience in public office and his experience with voters and winning elections. His campaign brochure puts it rather simply in saying “A strong middle-class is the backbone of a prosperous nation” and “Government can work, but congress must work together.”
Mr. Barth claims he is not flashy. But he is a complex individual worthy of serious consideration to replace Kristi Noem.
For more information please visit Jeff Barth’s website.
***Jonathon Josten is our unparalleled intern at SDDP headquarters. An Augustana college graduate and current graduate student at the University of Sioux Falls, Jon enjoys writing and theater. Needless to say, politics provide enough theatrical antics to keep him busy.