The results of the 2016 legislative election are not looking good for LGBTQ South Dakotans.
Equality South Dakota Political Action Committee endorsed 45 legislative candidates based upon either their voting record or their response to a survey. Of these 45, only 20 won and 25 lost.
EqSD PAC was opposed to 46 candidates. Unfortunately, 45 of them won their legislative seat.
See more details here: election_results_2016
The only anti-LGBTQ candidate to lose was Roger Hunt of District 25 (Brandon – Dell Rapids area). Hunt introduced anti-transgender legislation the past two sessions that we were able to defeat each time.
Hunt, a Republican, lost by only by 33 votes to Democrat Dan Ahlers which makes this race eligible for a recount. Another reminder that every vote counts!
Sen. Phil Jensen of Rapid City, the other anti-LGBTQ legislator, won re-election.
Fred Deutsch, the sponsor of this year’s “potty bill,” chose not to run again. He was replaced by two new Republicans of which we do not know their position on LGBTQ issues.
Of the 105 members of the 2017 Legislature, only 20 (12 Democrat, 8 Republican) can be identified as being LGBTQ-supportive based upon their past voting record or their response to EqSD PAC’s survey.
44 members, all returning Republicans, are opposed to LGBTQ issues.
The remaining 41 legislators (37 Republican, 4 Democrat) are classified as neutral. Ten of these are returning legislators with a mixed voting record and 31 of them are new legislators of which we do not know their position on LGBTQ issues.
To effectively stop any anti-LGBTQ legislation will require the assistance of a lobbyist.
You can help.
Please help Equality South Dakota hire a lobbyist by making a donation at http://eqsd.org/donate/
Lawrence Novotny, chair
Equality South Dakota