Mayor Sam Kooiker says Rapid City is making progress, but there's more work to be done. Kooiker announced his intention to seek re-election as mayor Saturday.
He kicked off his campaign on his birthday, waving at people passing through the gap. He says, if re-elected, he'll continue to focus on infrastructure, including repair and replacement of aging streets and utilities. He also wants to concentrate on economic development, including a foreign trade zone, and work to streamline city ordinances and processes.
Kooiker feels he's led the city well, despite recent criticism of city hall dealings regarding perceived racists comments made by a council member, and what some call a lack of decision making from council leadership that followed. "Middle school politics have always been around and they'll always be around," Kooiker said. "The question is whether you have a leader who can rise above it and move forward with purpose and I believe we've done that," he continued.
Mark Kirkeby, a South Dakota legislator, is also planning to run for mayor. The election is June 4.