PIERRE – Many things such as voter registration, issues and personality can contribute to the outcome of an election. But having more money was a common denominator for more than two-thirds of the winning candidates Tuesday in contested races for seats in the South Dakota Senate.
Based on the amounts that candidates self-reported in their pre-election finance forms filed in late October, the candidates showing more money than their opponents won at least 17 of the 24 contested Senate elections.
Candidates reporting less money than their opponents won five of the races. One couldn’t be determined because one of the candidates didn’t file a pre-general report.
In terms of party affiliation, Democrats won five of the Senate contests and Republicans took 19. Overall Democrats will hold seven seats and Republicans 28 seats in the 35-member Senate for the 2013 session.
Republicans started with a 10-2 advantage over Democrats for uncontested seats where one party or the other didn’t field a candidate for the general elections.
Republican candidates had more money available in at least 18 of the contested Senate elections.
The two political parties took different routes financially for the Senate battles.
One technique used by Democrats was a coordinated campaign, where candidates sent money to the party’s central office and bulk mailings were prepared on a reduced-cost basis.
One method used by Republicans involved two political action committees, one operated by Senate Republican leaders Russ Olson and Corey Brown, and the other known as the Norbeck PAC that former Gov. Mike Rounds created a year ago.
The two Republican PACS raised thousands of dollars from contributors and then redistributed bundles of money to the candidates in greatest need.
As an example former Rep. Bill Van Gerpen, R-Tyndall, received $8,000 from the Republican senatorial committee and $3,000 from the Norbeck PAC. Van Gerpen both defeated and outspent Rep. Frank Kloucek, D-Scotland, for a Senate seat.
Overall the Norbeck PAC distributed $120,500 to Republican candidates and committees, while the Senate Republican committee disbursed $72,000.
Additional money could have been contributed to candidates or spent by candidates in the two weeks after the pre-general reports were required to be filed.
The single-largest contribution to a Senate candidate appeared to be $15,000 given by the South Dakota Trial Lawyers to Democratic candidate Sam Khoroosi, a Sioux Falls lawyer.
His campaign chairman was Scott Heidepriem, a prominent Sioux Falls lawyer who was the Democrats’ 2010 candidate for governor. Khoroosi lost to Sen. Phyllis Heineman, R-Sioux Falls. Heineman and Heidepriem had been opponents in the past for the district’s Senate seat.
The trial lawyers also gave $15,000 to a House candidate, Republican Mike Stevens, a Yankton lawyer. He was elected.
A look at the money gathered and the votes won by the candidates in the Senate contests:
District 2: Bigger money lost
Chuck Welke, D-Warner: Spent $7,249.63, sent $7,600 to the Democratic Party and had $225.37 cash remaining.
Sen. Art Fryslie, R-Willow Lake: Spent $12,290.12, gave $50 to other candidates, and had $7,800.12 cash remaining. (Note: Numbers for various categories don’t match within report.)
Outcome: Welke 5,441 votes, Fryslie 5,140.
District 3: Bigger money won
Rep. Paul Dennert, D-Aberdeen: Spent $8,101.76, shifted $10,789.70 to other Democratic organizations and had $3,886.50 cash remaining.
Sen. Al Novstrup, R-Aberdeen: Spent $25,890.40, sent $799 to other candidates and committees, and had $3,223.29 cash remaining.
Outcome: Novstrup 5,552 votes, Dennert 4,814.
District 4: Bigger money won
Rep. Steve Street, D-Milbank: Spent $12,129.47, contributed $500 to other candidates, and had $4,630.92 cash remaining.
Sen. Tim Begalka, R-Clear Lake: Spent $11,066.45, owed $3,000 to businesses, and had $8,649.27 cash remaining.
Outcome: Begalka 6,603 votes, Street 4,227.
District 5: Bigger money won
Jeff Dunn, D-Watertown: Spent $8,146.46 and had $1,261.26 cash remaining.
Sen. Ried Holien, R-Watertown: Spent $17,769.38, sent $1,260 to other candidates and committees, and had $9,787.21 cash remaining.
(Note: Numbers for various categories don’t match within report.)
Outcome: Holien 5,900 votes, Dunn 3,846.
District 6: Bigger money won
Richard Schriever, D-Lennox: Spent $1,776.12, gave $55 to a Democratic committee, and had $23.63 cash remaining.
Ernie Otten Jr., R-Tea: Spent $4,583.80, gave $191.60 to the Republican Party, owed $763.53 to himself, and had $5,590.08 cash remaining.
Outcome: Otten 6,011, Schriever 3,176.
District 7: Bigger money won
Pam Merchant, D-Brookings: Spent $6,710.04 and had $5,102.79 cash remaining.
Sen. Larry Tidemann, R-Brookings: Spent $23,686.24 and had $14,128.73 cash remaining.
Outcome: Tidemann 4,362 votes, Merchant 3,788.
District 8: Bigger money won
Charles Johnson, D-Madison: Spent $5,334.04 and had $215.96 cash remaining.
Sen. Russ Olson, R-Wentworth: Spent $50,326.29, sent $8,925 to other candidates and committees, and had $18,188.12 cash remaining. (Note: Numbers for various categories don’t match within report.)
Outcome: Olson 7,072 votes, Johnson 4,089.
District 10: Bigger money won
Paul Thompson, D-Sioux Falls: Spent $1,793.84, shifted $3,851.10 to the Democratic Party, owed $4,600 to himself, and had $30.06 cash remaining.
Sen. Shantel Krebs, R-Renner: Spent $18,979.48, gave $100 to another candidate, and had $8,480.52 cash remaining.
Outcome: Krebs 5,805 votes, Thompson 3,705.
District 11: Bigger money lost
Tom Cool, D-Sioux Falls: Spent $3,990.69, loaned his campaign $10,370.00 and had $10,376.35 cash remaining.
David Omdahl, R-Sioux Falls: Spent $5,431.05, gave $100 to a Republican committee, and had $4,889.97 cash remaining.
Outcome: Omdahl 5,887 votes, Cool 4,488.
District 12: Bigger money won
Kent Alberty, D-Sioux Falls: Spent $13,946.01 and had $5,072.99 cash remaining.
Sen. Mark Johnston, R-Sioux Falls: Spent $27,933.83 and had $10,889.58 cash remaining.
Outcome: Johnston 5,901 votes, Alberty 4,586.
District 13: Bigger money lost
Sam Khoroosi, D-Sioux Falls: Spent $14,786.61 and $28,265.98 cash remaining.
Sen. Phyllis Heineman, R-Sioux Falls: Spent $21,654.56, gave $825 to other Republican organizations, owed $8,400 to herself and her husband, and had $6,025.44 cash remaining.
Outcome: Heineman 6,622 votes, Khoroosi 4,395.
District 14: Bigger money won
Brian Kaatz, D-Sioux Falls: Spent $7,934.72, owed $600 and had $8,018.33 cash remaining.
Deb Soholt, R-Sioux Falls: Spent $17,254.97, owed $4,100 to herself, and had $18,291.49 cash remaining.
Outcome: Soholt 6,250 votes, Kaatz 5,008.
District 15: Bigger money won
Sen. Angie Buhl, D-Sioux Falls: Spent $5,972.14, sent $18,211.99 to other candidates and committees and had $12,334.16 cash remaining.
Kathy Miles, D-Sioux Falls: Spent $9,172.64 and had $7,847.70 cash remaining.
Outcome: Buhl 2,973 votes, Miles 2,455.
District 16: Bigger money won
Mike O’Connor, D-Alcester: Spent $7,434.55 and had $2,575.45 cash remaining.
Sen. Dan Lederman, R-Dakota Dunes: Spent $33,362.11, sent $7,325 to other candidates and committees, and showed a negative balance of $2,944.13.
Outcome: Lederman 6,604 votes, O’Connor 4,395.
District 17: Bigger money lost
Rep. Tom Jones, D-Viborg: Spent $8,360.50, gave $500 to other candidates, and had $5,694.74 cash remaining.
John Chicoine, R-Parker: Spent $13,266.20 and had $6,603.29 cash remaining.
Outcome: Jones 4,753 votes, Chicoine 4,311.
District 18: Bigger money won
David Allen, D-Yankton: Spent $884.93 and had $18.60 cash remaining.
Sen. Jean Hunhoff, R-Yankton: Spent $5,740.05, gave $850 to other committees, and had $9,844.83 cash remaining.
Outcome: Hunhoff 6,283, Allen 3,370.
District 19: Bigger money won
Rep. Frank Kloucek, D-Scotland: Spent $19,280.02, gave $115 to other candidates, and had $3,911.32 cash remaining.
Bill Van Gerpen, R-Tyndall: Spent $28,631.08 and had $2,318.92 cash remaining.
Outcome: Van Gerpen 7,024 votes, Kloucek 4,677.
District 20: Bigger money won
Quinten Burg, D-Wessington Springs: Spent $5,769.31, sent $870.40 to the Democratic Party and had $2,225.29 cash remaining.
Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell: Spent $11,052.27 and had $14,994.83 cash remaining.
Outcome: Vehle 5,734 votes, Burg 4,323.
District 21: Bigger money won
Sen. Billie Sutton, D-Burke: Spent $10,622.05, sent $7,380 to two Democratic political committees and had $4,463.83 cash remaining.
John Meyer, R-Winner: Spent $4,850.25, personally loaned $3,000 to his campaign, and had $7,199.25 cash remaining.
Outcome: Sutton 5,722 votes, Meyer 3,901.
District 22: Bigger money won
Chris Studer, D-Huron: Spent $10,244.30, shifted $10,844.00 to the Democratic Party, owed $200 to himself, and had $6,297.12 cash remaining.
Rep. Jim White, R-Huron: Spent $14,082.68 and had $18,897.76 cash remaining.
Outcome: White 5,196 votes, Studer 4,354.
District 25: Bigger money won
Dan Ahlers, D-Dell Rapids: Spent $2,376.83, shifted $7,000 to the Democratic Party and had $2,665.49 cash remaining.
Sen. Tim Rave, R-Baltic: Spent $10,060.82, gave $1,030 to other candidates and committees, and had $21,916.95 cash remaining. (Note: Numbers in various categories don’t match in report.)
Outcome: Rave 5,629 votes, Ahlers 5,357.
District 26: Unknown.
Rep. Larry Lucas, D-Mission: No pre-election report on file with Secretary of State office.
Sen. Kent Juhnke, R-Vivian: Spent $12,214.57 and had $12,603 cash remaining.
Outcome: Lucas 4,405 votes, Juhnke 3,909.
District 33: Bigger money lost.
Matt McGrath, I-Rapid City: Spent $10,041.62, owed $1,663.58, had a loan of $1,651.58, and had $3,938.51 cash remaining.
Rep. Phil Jensen, R-Rapid City: Spent $4,170.75, owed $5,710.54 to himself and his wife, and had $1,168.58 cash remaining.
Outcome: Jensen 5,721 votes, McGrath 4,244.