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Newscast 06.09.22: IA Gubernatorial candidates focus on General Election; SD has high primary turnout

Deidre DeJear, Democratic Candidate for Iowa Governor
Deidre DeJear, Democratic Candidate for Iowa Governor

With Iowa’s Primary Election over, both major political parties are shifting to General Election mode. The gubernatorial race between sitting Republican Kim Reynolds and Democrat Deidre DeJear is top of mind for most Iowans.

Neither had opposition in the primary. Reynolds, who’s been governor for five years, has been describing her platform as push back against President Biden. Reynolds suggests the tax cuts she signed into law and the E-15 expansion plan she approved last month put Iowa in a position to withstand high inflation.

DeJear says her focus is on state policy, not a national agenda. The candidate will soon be announcing her choice for lieutenant governor. DeJear says she has been asking for advice from people she meets on the campaign trail as well as elected officials and her campaign team.

Only about one in three registered voters in South Dakota cast a ballot in this year’s primary election, but that still represented the largest voter turnout in a primary in more than a decade, according to the Argus Leader.

The 32% turnout was the most since the 2010 primary, where 34.5% of voters cast a ballot. That election saw several Republicans fighting for the nomination for governor, which Dennis Daugaard won, and for Congress. That nomination was won by Kristi Noem.

General election turnouts are much higher, particularly in presidential years. Turnout in the 2020 for example, was 74%.

Both the 2010 and 2022 primaries were similar in that Republican voters were motivated, what some are saying is an unpopular Democratic president being in the middle of his first term.

Because of continued dry conditions, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects to continue implementing water conservation measures in the Missouri River reservoir system through the rest of 2022 and into 2023, according to Radio Iowa.

The corps began the year with minimal river flows to support downstream navigation. Forecasts show that the minimal support likely will extend through the end of the navigation season, which may be shortened by up to two weeks.

Gavin's Point Dam, Yankton, SD
US Army Corps of Engineers
Gavin's Point Dam, Yankton, SD

Despite runoff into the river above Sioux City exceeding forecasts in May, the overall runoff totals are far below normal. Precipitation continues to be below normal, and dry soil conditions in much of the region are soaking up any precipitation that falls. Cooler temperatures in May slowed mountain snowmelt that feeds the river. The corps reported on Wednesday that May runoff was 2.7 million acre-feet, 79% of average, thanks in part to a wet April and May in North Dakota.