Who am I?
I am a 4th generation South Dakotan, and was was first elected to the state Senate in 2010 at the age of 25, making me the youngest woman ever to serve in South Dakota's Senate. Representing the heart of Sioux Falls, I currently serve on the Judiciary, Commerce & Energy, Retirement Laws, and Interim Rules Review Committees, and am the chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus. When the legislature is not in session, I am a small business consultant, serving small businesses and their employees in a wide range of industries.
I'm actively involved in the Sioux Falls community, including as a volunteer for Children's Care Hospital and School and through Junior League of Sioux Falls. I'm is also a member of the Sioux Falls Young Professionals Network, National Women's Political Caucus of South Dakota, and the Young Elected Officials Network.
Prior to legislative service, I worked as a non-profit consultant with a variety of organizations, most recently with Equality South Dakota. I was born in Aberdeen and raised in Yankton, where her family has owned a small business for over 25 years. In 2007, she earned her bachelors of science cum laude from the University of South Dakota, having studied psychology and music.
In my legislative career, I've worked on a number of issues ranging from daycare safety and early childhood education to human rights and reproductive health care.
Why am I running?
True public service has long been a passion and a value of mine. As Paul Wellstone said, "Politics is not about big money or power games -- it's about the improvement of peoples' lives." This has been my guiding motto throughout my time in elected office, and was what motivated me to run in the first place.
In South Dakota, especially in recent election cycles, abortion has given some politicians tunnel vision -- many seem to get focused on that at the exclusion of addressing other issues, like making sure kids have good schools to go to, and that we're focused on creating responsible, open government, and on protecting basic quality of life for kids and working families.
If I win my re-election bid, I plan to continue to prioritize kids and families, and on ensuring open and responsible government, including campaign finance reform.
My DFA Values
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My Campaign is People Powered!
My campaign is based on talking to people directly, going door to door and genuinely listening to their concerns -- I've always thought it was important for me to personally meet constituents if at all possible (both as a candidate and now as a Senator). Second to that, I've also worked to build and involve a growing team of people who are talking to their neighbors and getting directly involved in the political process, especially encouraging them to help their neighbors in the community vote.