Democrat Bjorkman holds town hall meeting in quest for House seat

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) The newest candidate for South Dakota's lone U.S. House made his first campaign stop in Rapid City Tuesday with a town hall event at the downtown public library.

Retired Circuit Court Judge Tim Bjorkman from Kimball took comments from a group of some 40 citizens.

He said he supports raising the minimum wage to $11-an-hour and said he wants to fight the entrenched partisanship gripping the nation's capital.

Bjorkman, who entered the race just two weeks ago, was applauded when he said he supported universal health care.

“I want to go to Washington to participate in working across the aisle to find a common sense healthcare plan that reflects who we are as Americans,” he said. “In my view it has to include universal, timely health care for all Americans.”

Bjorkman, who faces Rapid City's Chris Martian for the Democratic nomination, wasn't the only candidate in KOTA Territory Tuesday.

Republican and former PUC commissioner Dusty Johnson was also making the rounds in Rapid City. He, too, offered some thoughts on healthcare.

“I don't think Obamacare is working,” said Johnson. “I think we've seen premiums go way up beyond what was predicted but I'm not a big fan of the Republican plan either. I'm not sure it does enough to manage affordability. Frankly, I don't know why we think all of these answers are going to come from the federal government. I'd like to see more flexibility given to the states so they can innovate so they can help us find the solutions that we really do need.”

Johnson is vying for the GOP nomination against Sec. of State Shantel Krebs. South Dakota's sitting House member, Republican Kristi Noem, is running for governor and is not seeking re-election to Congress.