District 12 candidates compete for house and senate

District 12 candidates compete for house and senate
Jessica Meyers and Erin Royer speak at an Augie Dems event in the Froiland. Photo by Sydney Denekamp.

There are three seats up for election in South Dakota District 12, two for the House of Representatives and one for the Senate. Those registered in the district can vote on Nov. 8.

Democratic Party candidates

Democratic candidates include Jessica Meyers for the District 12 Senate position and Kristen Hayward and Erin Royer for the District 12 House of Representatives slots. None have held statewide office before.

Meyers and Royer visited Augustana’s campus on Oct. 11 to speak to students at an Augie Dems event about their political platforms.

Royer said healthcare, education and public transit were the most pressing issues she would bring to the House if she won. Royer believes South Dakota should expand Medicaid coverage, invest more money in education and improve public transportation.

“I would like to see investments in healthcare,” Royer said. “I would like to see investments in education. I would like to see investments in helping people move around without depending on cars.”

Meyers said she is focused on creating more job opportunities within South Dakota to improve state retention of educated young adults. She also wants to subsidize healthcare to lower childcare costs and minimize student loan debt by lowering tuition rates in tech schools to match the rest of the country.

“I feel like Democrats have to play a lot of defense in Pierre. I think just by putting more Democrats, especially in the Senate, it’s going to stop a lot of the shenanigans,” Meyers said.

Republican Party candidates

The information below is based on the ballotpedia.com information for the District 12 South Dakota ballot.

The republican candidate for District 12 state senate is Arch Beal. He has spent two terms serving as a member of the District 12 House of Representatives, assuming his first term in 2015. In the last two years, Beal served on two committees: He was vice chair for the House Commerce and Energy Committee and also on the House State Affairs Committee.

Both Incumbent Republican Rep. Greg Jamison and Republican Amber Arlint are running for the South Dakota District 12 House of Representatives.

With two seats open in the House and four total candidates, Jamison is entering the election with three total years of experience as a representative, having held the position from 2016 to 2018 and again starting in 2021. Jamison is serving as vice chair for the House Local Government Committee and is on the House Taxation Committee.

Arlint graduated from USD with a degree in political science and a Master’s in educational administration. She owns an insurance agency in Sioux Falls. This is Arlint’s first time running for political office.