SD State Legislative Candidate Survey: Kerry Loundenslager
SIOUX FALLS, SD (Dakota News Now) — Kerry Loudenslager is running in South Dakota’s State House District 12 Republican primary. District 12 is made up of southwest Sioux Falls. Heisey faces four main opponents; Greg Jamison, Amber Arlint, Cole Heisey and Gary Schuster.
1. Tell us about yourself?
I was born in Sioux Falls, SD and proud of it. When we were 5, our family moved to Brewster, MN, a small farming community 1 hour east of Sioux Falls, where my dad was a teacher/superintendent. I am a ‘twin’ and one of six children – all of whom have graduated from college. After a busy childhood with school, athletics, music and work, I earned my BS degree at USD – then the military where I served for almost 28 years before taking my retired at the rank of colonel. During my service, I completed my Master of Arts in Human Resource Development, graduated from the US Army Command and General Staff College, and then was selected for the US Army War College. After the military, I pursued a career in business and spent 15 years at a Fortune 100 company, retiring as an executive in my favorite place, Sioux Falls. As a high school/college athlete, I am passionate about sports. I enjoy golfing, fishing, traveling and spending quality time with my family and friends. Doreen and I have been married for 39 years and have 3 sons – all veterans and current or former members of the South Dakota National Guard, and 2 granddaughters.
2. Why are you applying for this position?
There is a concerted and intentional Marxist movement going on right now by the left to undermine our values and our “way of life” here in America, including South Dakota. This movement challenges our fundamental moral principles, our educational system, our sovereignty, our public order and our national security. I am running to take a stand against this movement and to preserve/promote our conservative values and defend our Constitution and the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
3. What would be your top three priorities if elected?
In a world filled with division and contempt, my top three priorities are to advocate for unity, preserve/promote South Dakota’s core conservative values, and defend our Constitution and the inalienable “God-given” rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. .
4. What relevant experience would you bring to the office?
I am the only veteran to run for this office, which gives me an edge in the fight for veteran benefits. I believe serving in the State Legislature is my next “calling” and God has been molding/preparing me throughout my life for this very relevant servant role to achieve His ends. I was trained as a servant leader, both military and commercial. In the military, I enlisted as an E-1 Private and retired as a “full” Colonel, working at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels leading thousands of soldiers and the search for a consensus at the highest levels of the Ministry of Defence. As a business owner and managing partner of a Fortune 100 financial company, I’ve done the same while building relationships along the way. Unlike most of my opponents, I am now retired, which allows me to devote my time, full time if necessary, to the service of my fellow citizens. I’m ready to serve South Dakota!
5. Do you support tax relief for residents of South Dakota? If so, what type and how would you make it happen?
Like most people in South Dakota, I appreciate the fact that we have no income tax and would like that to continue. Unlike many states, South Dakota is fiscally responsible and has done an excellent job of managing the budget, revenues, and surpluses. With record revenues/surpluses, I believe we are now able to provide property tax relief to the people of South Dakota. Once elected, one of my first agenda items will be to conduct a task analysis on this issue and consult with the Legislative Research Council and the Department of Revenue and other key government agencies. state/county to determine the best way to accomplish this.
6. Housing availability has become an issue for many South Dakotans. How would you seek to make housing more affordable?
There are a number of existing programs that are already in place to help South Dakotans find safe, healthy, and affordable housing. I don’t know how many people are actually aware of this. One of my goals would be to ensure that the people of South Dakota are bombarded with information to better educate them. The South Dakota Housing Development Authority (SDHDA) website is a great place to start: https://www.sdhda.org/housing-development I would also use the Legislative Research Council to further explore support opportunities and funding programs in partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, local governments, non-profit organizations and the private sector.
7. Correctional facilities in South Dakota have faced a number of challenges, the most significant being overcrowding and understaffing. What would you do to help combat these issues?
Before I can answer that question, I would first have to tap into the South Dakota Department of Corrections, the Legislative Research Council, and others to fully understand the scope and scale of the problems. It would be irresponsible of me to do otherwise and “pull from the hip” on such an important issue that not only affects inmates and staff, but also family members and the community as a whole.
8. What measures should the legislator take to encourage young people to stay in the state?
This is another one of those topics where I should first fully understand the issue and leverage the resources to get the facts. I would start with the Department of Labor and Regulation and the Legislative Research Council to determine “why” young South Dakotans are leaving the state and what is currently being done to retain them. As I understand it, some of the reasons are lower salary, fewer opportunities, lack of cultural diversity and entertainment, and others. First obtaining factual information (from experts) about the problem, then identifying and evaluating potential courses of action to solve the problem, as well as identifying the resources needed, are all fundamental to the “decision-making process”. “.
9. Do you support changes to the conduct of elections in South Dakota?
I recently visited a precinct superintendent of elections and former poll worker about election procedures and I think our electoral system is quite secure. However, I am concerned about the potential problems that could arise if we do not continue to closely monitor every element of the process. A few examples include the potential hacking of “internet-connected” voting machines, manipulation of algorithms, collection of ballots, and other irregularities. Clearly, our electoral process must be honest, accurate and legitimate – and limited only to those who have the right to vote. We must use all means necessary to ensure that the process meets these high standards and I am open to any discussion to improve it further.
10. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling is looming on a landmark abortion case that could ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade. Governor Kristi Noem has indicated she would like to ban abortion outright, and an already-enacted “trigger law” would do just that, with only an exception in place when the mother’s life is in danger. Are you in favor of banning abortion at this point? If not, what exceptions would you like to see made?
Yes, I am “Pro-Life” and I support banning abortion and protecting the sanctity of life at all stages of life. It is our most fundamental right. As a conservative Christian, I will defend our Constitution and the inalienable “God-given” rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
11. What is your position on legalized recreational marijuana in South Dakota?
I oppose the expansion of recreational marijuana use. Numerous studies suggest that these drugs have harmful effects on the health and well-being of individuals, families and society. Sound public policy decisions should be designed to protect and maintain the health and well-being of our society, both today and for future generations.
State legislative candidates in contested districts this primary season were emailed the same poll to complete for Dakota News Now/KOTA Territory News. Candidates were asked to limit their answers to approximately 4-5 sentences for each question. Except for a quick spelling and grammar check, the answers were unaltered by the poster. Those who answered the survey questions saw their results displayed.
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