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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Introductions: AAUW Candidates Forum

Russ Olson:
  • points out his strength against the incumbents in the 2006 election.
  • Energy economic development, and energy are the issues we'll face as priorities.
  • Feels more confident this time around, as he has spent his last two years working with school administrators.

Scott Parsley:
  • Economic development: SD economy in relatively good shape compared to rest of country, though we've seen an increase in unemployment
  • Energy is biggest issue in our future: all other issues will benefit from what we can do in energy
  • Neighboring states have done a lot in energy; SD lags in wind development because those states offer incentives we don't
  • Education will be major issue, too

Mitch Fargen:
  • Same big 3 E's for major issues
  • Education: must fully fund K-12
  • Need new gov't system for tech schools to retrain working class
  • Need to focus on research and development in higher ed to help with energy
  • Energy independence: focus on wind, biodiesel, ethanol

Patricia Stricherz:
  • Grew up in Iowa, met husband Jay in Army; "it's his fault I ended up in South Dakota" ;-)
  • Running because she saw things as a "family readiness leader": veterans' families losing homes and businesses

Jerry Johnson:
  • Graduate of Madison HS and DSU
  • Agree on big issues previously mentioned
  • "Why do I want to run?" passion and desire to serve District 8 and state; no hidden agenda, no chip on my shoulder, not using this as "stepping stone"
  • Want to discuss the issues
  • South Dakota in good shape, just need to fine tune a few things
  • Six years as Madison City Commissioner, cooperation with DSU and many other organizations

Gerry Lange:
  • Thanks other candidates for running; no democracy without the contest
  • Came to DSU in 1964 after teaching English in Spain (and running with the bulls!)
  • "Money is like manure; it does no good unless it's spread around."
  • Recalls 1984 mission change at DSU, which eliminated history, government, etc.; Mundt Foundation and others helped fight to maintain those programs
  • "involuntarily retired" two years ago
  • Education being neglected: "most important thing we can do as a people is educate our children" said Lincoln
  • Also notes that Lincoln wouldn't find Civil War on credit, unlike today's administration.

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