PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Tuesday brought a public forum for the Republican candidates running for House and Senate for central South Dakota’s District 24. The debate was sponsored by the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Committee. Organizers estimate that at least 70 people were on hand for the forum. The first portion of the evening was focused on the race for the House of Representatives and included incumbent Mark Venner, former House member Tim Rounds and challenger Mary Duvall. All three are from Pierre. Several questions were lobbed at the candidates, during the House portion of the debate.
Duvall has been involved in the legislative process as a page, intern, legislative liaison and lobbyist for almost 30 years. She said she decided to run after being encouraged by several people.
Rounds served in the House for District 24 from 2003 to 2010. He told the forum attendees that he has a passion for the job and there is still work to be done—so he’d like to return to serve as a state lawmaker again.
Venner is vying for his second term as a lawmaker and feels he’s well suited for the job.
The House candidates were quizzed on various topics from their thoughts about the budget cuts that were made by the Governor and lawmakers in the 2011 session to their opinions on questions on the November ballot and if they support the lawsuit against “Obamacare”. In closing remarks, Duvall said that the state is a great place to live, work and raise a family and as a lawmaker–she would work to protect the many good things about South Dakota. Rounds said that having served at the Capitol before—he has the knowledge needed to be a lawmaker and that he believes he was an effective legislator for eight years. Venner stated he will do his best to serve, will listen and will do what’s best for the state so it can continue to move forward.
Both the House and Senate portions of Tuesday’s debate lasted an hour each.
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