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Sutton campaign kicks off early voting




Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Billie Sutton and Senator Tim Johnson. Photo Credit: Richie Richards

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Billie Sutton and Senator Tim Johnson. Photo Credit: Richie Richards

SIOUX FALLS – The Sutton campaign was in Sioux Falls on Friday to kick off the early voting period in South Dakota by meeting supporters and encouraging early voting, voter registration, and tribal involvement in the general election.

The Sutton Early Vote Kickoff event took place on Friday at The Marketplace near downtown Sioux Falls. Nearly 30 persons gathered in the market space in support of Billie Sutton’s campaign as he makes his bid for governor as a democratic candidate.

During his brief speech to the crowd gathered, Sutton said, “This has been just an incredible experience, an incredible campaign. This is where it starts! For the next month and a half here, we got a lot of work to do. We’re going to need you to get your friends, your families and your neighbors out to vote. This is your chance to have your voice heard.”

The General Election is on November 6, 2018. Early voting and absentee voting both began on Friday, September 21 and the deadline to register to vote in the General Election is on October 22, 2018. The general election is six weeks away and the Sutton camp is hitting the campaign trail hard.

“We had a healthcare convention here (Sioux Falls) that I was able to attend and we thought it was a great opportunity to encourage people to get out and vote,” said Sutton who wanted to make the most of his trip to Sioux Falls. “It’s incredibly important to have your voice heard, especially if you’re tired of politics as usual and tired of the same old same old. If you want your voice to be heard, this is your chance.”

Billie Sutton is feeling the pressure of running for governor as a Democrat in a traditionally red state. “This is it. The time is now from today until the election is done. We have a great opportunity to build a stronger South Dakota and we can all do it together. So get out and get this thing done,” he said to those in attendance at the event kicking off the early voting period.

Also in attendance was former Senator, Tim Johnson, who met with Sutton to offer advice, lend support and help the young candidate navigate the political landscape of South Dakota. Johnson knows the importance of the Indian vote and value of working with tribal nations and tribal members during elections and once elected.

“It (Indian vote) has had a big impact on elections in the past. In fact, Senator Tim Johnson was here today. I think he won an election by 526 votes that was largely determined by Todd County and Oglala Lakota County (formerly Shannon County),” said Sutton. “I just think that it’s incredibly important for people to get out and cast their vote for the candidate that’s going to stand up for them. And that’s me.”

In 2002, Tim Johnson defeated John Thune (R) to win reelection in the at-large House seat by 524 votes. During this election, it was the 94 percent of the Oglala Lakota vote which helped to secure this victory. Johnson knows the importance of the Native Vote and conveyed this information to the Sutton camp during their conversation in Sioux Falls on Friday. “State policy really affects our Native American communities in a big way; whether that’s support for education, support for healthcare, economic development,” said Sutton. “It has a big impact on their lives and I’m going to be a voice for those people.”

Sutton said to those gathered at The Marketplace, “This has been just an incredible experience, an incredible campaign. This is where it starts! For the next month and a half here, we got a lot of work to do. We’re going to need you to get your friends, your families and your neighbors out to vote. This is your chance to have your voice heard.”

The democratic candidate for governor wants everyone to know that it is a great opportunity to build a stronger South Dakota through electing leaders who will work for the general interest of all South Dakotans. He believes by working together, all political interests can be met through his campaign efforts.

To those in attendance, Billie Sutton wanted to thank everyone for their time and energy in the campaign. “I’ve been incredibly humbled by the support that I’ve gotten from people from all over South Dakota, all different political views and from all different backgrounds. South Dakota is really ready for different leadership and I’m just so thankful for all those who’ve stepped up and supported me. I’m going to work my hardest every day to work for all South Dakotans and not just a select few,” he said.

“I’m going to bring a change to the status quo. We’ve seen a lot of things go on in our state in the vain of corruption and out of lack of action on important issues like campaign finance reform or healthcare issues. I’m the candidate that’s going to be a leader to fix the problems we have and stand up for all South Dakotans,” closed the candidate.

Candidates understand the importance of the Native Vote in South Dakota. The power of this vote has been seen on all levels of elections; from city, county and state elections. Sutton encourages tribal members to get involved, get registered and vote in the general election.

The South Dakota Democratic Party has a program which hires drivers to provide transportation to and from polling stations in the following areas: Rosebud, Winner, White River, Pine Ridge, Wanblee, Eagle Butte, Corson County and Lake Andes. For more information, contact James Colombe at james@sddp.org.

(Contact Native Sun News Today Correspondent Richie Richards at richie4175@gmail.com)

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