Endorsed Candidates in South Dakota
Ben Nesselhuf for South Dakota Secretary of State
From the Secretary of State Project:
Ben Nesselhuf is running for an open seat to replace Republican Secretary of State Chris Nelson. Nesselhuf has had a distinguished legislative career in the South Dakota House of Representatives and the State Senate, where he sponsored numerous bills around campaign finance reform. Over his five terms he has served on the Health and Human Services, Commerce, Taxation, Education and State Affairs committees.
Find out more at his website.
Julie Garreau for State Senate District 28
From her website:
A lifelong resident of South Dakota’s rural heartland and an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Julie Garreau was born to a life in public service. Her father, Ellsworth Garreau, built a respected career in local law enforcement. Her mother, Iyonne, served as executive director of the Cheyenne River Elderly Nutrition Center for more than three decades; she also instilled in her children a powerful drive to help the less fortunate....
Following her graduation from Huron University, she worked as the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s education services specialist for 15 years; during that time, she also spent five years on the CRST Police Commission, three as chairperson. She broadened her community involvement by serving as a Suicide Crisis Referral Hotline counselor for six years and taking American Red Cross training courses in Mass Care, Introduction to Disaster Services, Damage Assessment and Shelter Operations.
Perhaps most significantly, Julie also has been executive director of the grassroots, not-for-profit Cheyenne River Youth Project® since its 1988 inception. She volunteered in the position for the first 12 years, becoming a full-time staff member in 2000. Julie has seen the project through its exhilarating development from a tiny, one-room youth center in a former Main Street bar to a comprehensive community organization that includes The Main Youth Center for children ages 4-12, the Cokata Wiconi Teen Center for youth ages 13-18, the 2.5-acre naturally grown Winyan Toka Win Garden and Family Services, an important program that provides household necessities, clothing, heating and home-repair funds, Christmas gifts and much more to local families.
In addition to her work with CRYP, Julie is a field coordinator for Running Strong for American Indian Youth®, a national not-for-profit organization that is an important CRYP partner. She is a dedicated advocate for youth and for sustainable grassroots initiatives within communities, and she hopes to provide a valuable model for other communities as they develop effective, sustainable youth programming and community support services.
That dedication has been recognized at the regional and national levels. Julie has received the South Dakota Volunteer of the Year Award (1992); the Presidential Points of Light Award (1992), presented by President H. W. Bush; the Father Hogebach Service to Native American Children Award, presented by St. Joseph’s Indian School (1995); the Lakota Nation Invitational Tournament Public Service Award (1993); the North American Indian Women’s Association Fellowship “Among All Peoples” Award (1999); and the Garden Supply Company’s First Place “Garden Crusader” Award (2005).
In 2002, the South Dakota Coalition for Children named CRYP a “Champion for Children,” and Julie was named to an honor roll that recognized its 16 members’ outstanding dedication to South Dakota’s Children. Her name also appears on the Honor Wall at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.
Most recently, Julie received the Spirit of Dakota Award (2009). Established in 1987, the award recognizes a South Dakota woman who has demonstrated leadership qualities, has become successful in her community and state, has deep Dakota roots, has shown courage and strength of character and has represented social, cultural and educational advancement for others. It recognizes, according to the society, “those outstanding women who have been the symbols of all that we are proud of in our prairie women.”
Although the South Dakota Senate run for District 28 is Julie’s first campaign for public office, she is not new to politics. She has been chairperson of the Dewey County Democratic Party since June 2008; she also served as the Cheyenne River coordinator for then-Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.
Bob Pille for School and Public Lands Commissioner
Bob Pille has been endorsed by the Indigenous Democratic Network and is running for a very important if generally very overlooked position. He is an Oglala Sioux Tribe Natural Resources Executive focusing on Environmental Protection Program-grants management and crisis management, which makes him very well qualified for Public Lands Commissioner.