PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Today is Election Day in Pierre, as municipal and school board elections are being held. Polls opened at seven this morning. Voters will choose between incumbent Cari Leidholt, and challengers Mike Mehlhaff, Jr. and Paul Turman to fill two openings on the Pierre School Board and in the race for City Commission; current commissioner Jeanne Goodman is being challenged by Troy Bowers.
The candidates participated in a forum last month, sponsored by the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce. In the race for school board, current board member Cari Leidholt said she has learned a lot in her time serving the district and believes the district has several positive things going for it.
Leidholt says she believes that Pierre’s quality of education resonates with many of the district’s patrons.
Leidholt works in the SD Office of Emergency Management.
Like Leidholt; Mehlhaff is a graduate of Riggs High School and he says he traces his successes back to the education he received in Pierre. Mehlhaff said if he is elected, he would like to focus on keeping the district fiscally responsible, will listen to and be an advocate for students and faculty and wants to continue to have open communication with constituents.
Mehlhaff says he feels keeping people involved in the district’s actions is important.
Mehlhaff works for the South Dakota Department of Revenue and is Manger of the Oahe Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Turman works as the South Dakota Board of Regents Vice President of Research. He says service was the reason he chose to run for the local school board.
Turman says he believes his understanding of various levels of education sets him apart from the other two candidates for the board position.
In the race for Pierre City Commission, Goodman says her four years of experience in serving the city are a benefit and she would like to continue her work for Pierre.
Goodman says her time on the commission has included both good times for the city…and tough times-like the 2011 flood.
Goodman says she would like to see some ongoing city projects through to completion. She was first appointed to the commission in 2009 and ran unopposed for a full term in 2010. She works as an engineer with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Bowers is the owner of a Pierre real estate company and says he chose to run for the office for several reasons.
Bowers told attendees at the May forum that the city should do all it can for businesses that want to locate in the community.
Voting locations are open until seven tonight. River Cities Public Transit reminds local residents that they are giving free rides to the polls today. For more information, call 945-2360. We’ll have results for you after the ballots are counted this evening and they are also available on the homepage of the Secretary of State’s website at www.sdsos.gov.
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