NEWS 11.8.22: Election Day Update, Poll Worker Investigation, Stabbing Suspect Arrested, Power Outage, and More
Woodbury County officials confirmed they are investigating allegations of election misconduct on the part of a poll worker in the county. More from the Sioux City Journal can be found here.
Voters in the tri-state area will all find a race for governor on their ballots.
Republican Kim Reynolds is running for a second full term as Iowa governor.
She made history in 2017, becoming the state’s first female governor. She was then re-elected in 2018, narrowly defeating Democrat Fred Hubbell.
This time around, Reynolds faces two challengers, Democrat Deidre DeJear and Libertarian Rick Stewart.
If elected, DeJear would be the first Black female governor in the country.
DeJear ran for Secretary of State in 2018. She lost to Republican incumbent Paul Pate.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is hoping to coast to reelection over Democratic state Rep. Jamie Smith amid speculation she is aiming for higher office in two years. The 50-year-old Republican vaulted to national prominence in the GOP after she derided government mandates aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 infections. Her reelection campaign has focused on her handling of the state’s economy as well as a promise to convince the Legislature to repeal the state’s tax on groceries. Smith has countered by criticizing Noem’s out-of-state travels as a sign she is more focused on her personal ambition rather than the job at home.
Republican U.S. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota is seeking a decisive reelection win over his Democratic challenger for a fourth term that could feature a bid to eventually become his party’s leader in the Senate. The 61-year-old Republican holds a large fundraising advantage over Democrat Brian Bengs, an Air Force veteran and university professor. Thune is the second-ranking Senate Republican and is seen as a potential pick to succeed Sen. Mitch McConnell once he steps down from leadership. The most dramatic moment of the campaign for Thune came before it began when he contemplated retiring rather than running for reelection.
South Dakota voters are weighing whether to expand Medicaid health insurance to tens of thousands of low-income residents through a constitutional amendment after the state Legislature resisted expansion for years. If Constitutional Amendment D is approved by a majority vote, it would remove South Dakota from a list of 12 states that have not expanded eligibility for the government health insurance program. People earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level would become eligible for Medicaid. The Republican-controlled Legislature has resisted Medicaid expansion under the 2010 federal Affordable Care Act. But a wide coalition of healthcare groups backed a well-funded ballot campaign this year.
Iowa voters will decide whether to add a right to keep and bear arms into the state constitution, a move that would make it more difficult to pass gun restrictions and easier to strike down existing gun laws.
Voters in five states are deciding on Election Day whether to approve recreational marijuana. The proposals going before voters in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota on Tuesday could signal a major shift toward legalization in even the most conservative parts of the country. The proposals follow President Joe Biden's announcement that he'll pardon thousands of Americans convicted of simple possession. Recreational marijuana is legal in 19 states, and the five states with ballot measures already have legal medical marijuana programs. Another proposal on Colorado's ballot would allow the use of certain psychedelic substances.
Sioux City police say the suspect in a stabbing yesterday in Leeds is now in custody. Investigators say a woman showed up at a convenience store looking for help.
Power has been restored to an estimated 3,000 people in Sioux City after a thunderstorm knocked down a transmission line. The MidAmerican Energy website shows power is back on. Siouxland Public Media was briefly knocked off the air at the time. A couple of voting precincts also lost power, but Election Commissioner Pat Gill say voting continued.
Snow is on the horizon, and for some parts of South Dakota, it seems like there could be a lot of it, according to the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls.
The latest models for precipitation across the state are predicting of impending snowfall for much of South Dakota. Parts of southeastern South Dakota, including Sioux Falls, are right at the edge and have yet to be put under a winter storm watch, unlike the rest of the state.
A Tyrannosaurus rex skull is expected to sell for $15 million or more at auction in New York next month. Officials with Sotheby's said Tuesday that the 200-pound skull fossil is being sold Dec. 9 by an owner who wishes to remain anonymous. The skull was discovered in Harding County, South Dakota, where several other T. rex skeletons have been found. Sotheby's experts say two large puncture holes in the skull are evidence of a big fight, probably with another T. rex. It's not known if that fight is what killed the T. rex.