March 27, 2012
Maybe the chiropractors can straighten Pierre out, and clergy reinforcements are coming!
A couple years ago when I set my sights on our US House seat people found it odd that a pastor would get political. My response was to remind people that 27 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence had seminary degrees or were ordained. My joke was this nation was founded on the good work of lawyers and clergy and I think we have enough lawyers.
Nationwide more clergy are running for public office. Here in South Dakota, of course I am running for re-election, and this year we also have Lutheran pastor Rev. Karen Soli (D-District 15 House) and now Rev. Scott Craig (R- District 33 House) running for state house seats. Also, pastor/rancher Bill VanGerpen (R - District 19 Senate) is seeking a comeback. We are losing Rep. Nick Moser to law school - he's presently a youth pastor. When I heard Rep. Moser was not seeking re-election I was worried I'd be the only guy left to call on when the Pastor of the Day is a no-show and the Speaker needs someone for the opening prayer.
With very few exceptions, no one serving in South Dakota politics has a political or government background. We have a citizen legislature, mostly made up of lawyers and farmers. That is changing with a few ministers in the mix now and,,,, what's up with this surge of chiropractors? Maybe they'll get us straightened out! Quoting Dr. Fred Deutsch's comment over at Mercer's blog… "Did you notice the number of chiropractors running? Munsterman, Monroe, Stotz, Chicoine, and yours truely. Not sure it means anything other than the state might see adjustments coming."
So far only two medical doctors are running, Dr. Scott Ecklund (R-District 25) has been a Sanford doctor for 25 years and still is, and Dr. Frank Alvine (R- District 13) who I'm told is retired.
I'm not sure you can read anything into any of this as there are very few occupations that can become flexible enough to allow a person to campaign for six months, attend candidate forums on the weekends and interest group legislative briefings each evening in November and early December and take off for January, February and part of March. All for $6000. Not to complain because I didn't need nor did I run to seek another job or additional income, but I did notice the open seat here on our city council pays $17,000. Maybe it was the thought of sleeping in my own bed that made me do a double take on it. Not to worry, I'm not going away.