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Monday, June 14, 2010

Throw Some of the Bums Out! SD County Commission Incumbents Bat .636

I was checking up on how fellow blogger Doug Maurstad fared in the Union County Commission race last week. His neighbors chose the status quo over him, 68% to 32%.

So much for anti-incumbent sentiment? Page through the South Dakota primary election results, and you'll find that 14 out of 22 incumbent county commissioners kept their seats (at least until the general election).

Six more incumbents are in primary races subject to recount: three are currently on the winners' list, two are tied, and one is out. let those results stand and flip two coins, and the overall incumbent success rate is 18 out of 28, 64%.

Now if I didn't have a day job, I'd comb through the records and calculate an average rate of incumbent success in South Dakota primary elections. But this year, at the county level, if you represent the status quo in South Dakota, odds are 2 to 1 that you keep your job.

Feel free to check my count:
  • Incumbents won county commission primaries in Beadle, Clay, Dewey, Fall River, Grant (2), Hughes (2), Lawrence, Meade, Sanborn, Tripp (2), and Union.
  • Incumbents lost county commission primaries in Butte, Hutchinson, Jackson (2), Marshall, McPherson (Newcomer Sid Feickert beat incumbent Michael H. Rath 152 to 15), Meade, and Pennington.
  • Recounts may happen in Custer, where two of three incumbents are currently on top, and Walworth, where the incumbent is on top by three votes.
  • Incumbents tied in Day and Shannon.
Blogger Bonus: Web personality Matthew J. Trask ran for Meade County Sheriff! “I don’t believe anyone, especially now, should run unopposed,” the former Smithville Township constable told the press. “And I can only run in one race.” He lost to long-time incumbent sheriff Ron Merwin 68% to 32%. Congrats on a clean run, Matt!

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