SD Legislative candidate survey: Vince Vidal
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Vince Vidal is a Democrat running for the South Dakota State House in District 33. District 33 includes portions of Pennington and Meade County within it. Vidal faces two Republicans in the November general election, incumbent Phil Jensen and Curt Massie.
1. Who are you? Tell us about yourself in 100 words or less.
I am a 20-year Navy veteran, father of four, grandfather of five, who has also served Airman at Ellsworth as a finance auditor and currently serves as a Rapid City Planning Commissioner. I want to continue that service for District 33 and improve the lives of South Dakota families by enacting laws that serve the will of the people. After serving my country, I chose Rapid City as my home and have spent nearly 30 years here. I love to explore the beautiful Black Hills and will work to preserve our environment for future generations.
2. What prompted you to run for office?
I want to bring balance back. Our state legislature, with 94 Republicans and 11 Democrats, does not represent the true make-up of South Dakota. I strongly believe the will of the people matters and it’s time to get back to fair and proper representation in our state. I will bring a kind, moderate voice to the State House and represent my neighbors with integrity, hard work and years of service and experience.
3. What public policies are you passionate about? What would your policy priorities be in Pierre?
I believe all people should have the right to affordable, accessible healthcare and I believe our educators deserve more pay, safe schools to work in and respect to teach the craft they earned their degrees in. I will work to enact Medicaid expansion to ensure that hard-working South Dakotans – especially those in rural areas and those whose employers don’t offer insurance – have healthcare coverage. I will work on and support legislation to improve the experience for teachers. 50th in the nation in pay is not acceptable. And our teachers should lead the way on the curriculum they teach, not politically motivated institutions from out of state.
4. Cutting the grocery tax has become central to this election cycle. Do you think that the legislature should cut the grocery tax next legislative session? Is there any taxes you would cut instead, or in addition to?
Yes, the legislature should cut the grocery tax. And it should have passed last year when the legislation was proposed and passed by the House, but defeated by the Senate and opposed by the Governor. I look forward to diving into the budget when I am elected to see if there are other opportunities for further tax cuts that would benefit average working South Dakotans and their families – not just wealthy, out-of-state interests who store their money here.
5. The Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade earlier this year. South Dakota has a law the prevents abortion almost completely outright. Are there any exceptions you would like to see the legislature enact? What other laws would you like to see passed to support mothers and families?
Yes, the legislature needs to enact exceptions for rape and incest. The current law goes too far. Government should not interfere in decisions between women and their physicians or infringe on their reproductive rights, especially when they are victims of rape or incest. Current polls show that the majority of South Dakotans support these exceptions. The people voted down stricter abortion laws in 2006 and 2008 and the will of the people is not being considered by many in our current legislature. It is time for more balance in Pierre.
6. Recreational marijuana is on the ballot in November. If it passes, would you commit to legalizing it?
Yes. If the people pass it, it is the job of the legislature to implement it into law safely, responsibly and in a timely manner, regardless of their personal opinions on the subject. There are too many recent examples in our state legislature of the people voting one way and the legislature silencing their voices.
7. What is the most important quality for an elected official to posses?
Integrity. Without it, everything else falls apart.
8. Who do you take inspiration from and why?
American women who have inspired me all my life. My mother, my wife and my daughter, just to name three. Throughout my life I have witnessed women overcome obstacles and with each generation I’ve watched them gain more freedom to become who they want to be. Recently I’m inspired by a young group of women – Sister’s United – who are getting involved in democracy by standing up for what they believe in and using their time to get young people registered to vote. I am inspired and can’t wait to see what the women I know do next.
State legislative candidates in contested districts this election season were emailed the same survey to complete for Dakota News Now/KOTA Territory News. With the exception of a quick spelling and grammar check, answers were not edited by the poster. Those who responded to the survey questions had their results posted.
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