South Dakota lawmaker Eldon Nygaard switches to GOP after election

2010-11-18T18:00:00Z 2010-11-19T06:39:13Z South Dakota lawmaker Eldon Nygaard switches to GOP after electionDavid Montgomery Journal staff Rapid City Journal
November 18, 2010 6:00 pm  • 

And then there were five.

The already-small contingent of Democrats in the South Dakota Senate shrank by one Thursday with the decision by Sen.-elect Eldon Nygaard of Vermillion to switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

That leaves 30 Republicans and five Democrats in the Senate.

In a news release by the South Dakota Republican Party, Nygaard said he switched because he believes "I can represent my district's needs in Pierre more effectively as a member of the Republican Party."

Nygaard also said his "philosophy regarding government's role in society is more in line with the Republican Party."

Before being elected to the state Senate in 2010, Nygaard served two terms in the South Dakota House of Representatives.

Democrats accused Nygaard of switching parties out of spite after being defeated for leadership positions.

"It's surprising that when an individual does not receive a leadership position in a caucus they just decide to leave and think that it's going to be better in another party," said Senate Minority Leader Jason Frerichs of Wilmot, who said Nygaard ran unsuccessfully for minority leader as well as assistant minority leader last Saturday.

Nygaard could not be reached for comment Thursday.

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(14) Comments

  1. VermillionGirl
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    VermillionGirl - November 19, 2010 6:30 pm
    Glock10mm said: "The people have spoken. They have soundly rejected by a wide margin liberalism and democrats."

    Except in District 17, which Eldon represents, they didn't say that. We soundly elected two democrats and now we have one. If this is about the message from "the people," Eldon missed the boat.
  2. Observer
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    Observer - November 19, 2010 1:46 pm
    196thlightinfantry said: "I have always found it very interesting that in the State of South Dakota, we have high taxes and low wages, let me repeat, high property taxes and low wages."

    High taxes compared to who?
  3. KRUSTY
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    KRUSTY - November 19, 2010 9:41 am
    If all of these 30 Republicans are so evil, terrible, corrupt, and greedy... How is it they are continually re-elected in their respective districts? Could it be that they are the lessor of the two evils? Perhaps, voters in those respective districts have all been duped? Or is it that Republicans are just better at duping the voters than the Democrats are?

    It doesn't seem to be an issue when this occurs at the national level, i.e. cases in point, Lieberman (former Repub turned independent, caucusing with Dems) or Murkowski (former Repub, running as an independent). Seems only to be an issue when a Dem (at the state level) turns Repub.

    Nice way for you all to point out your level of double standards.
  4. 196thlightinfantry
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    196thlightinfantry - November 19, 2010 9:32 am
    Andjusticeforall, the answer is NO.

    I have always found it very interesting that in the State of South Dakota, we have high taxes and low wages, let me repeat, high property taxes and low wages. I have to go way way back to find a time when there was a Democratic controlled anything in South Dakota. But we all accept the high tax and low wage as though it is a tax and spend from the Democrats. Funny isn't it, in a weird sort of way? So I was pointing out the meaningless voting that is done in the state as though we are really trying to accomplish anything. Lets face it, it is a good old boy network and the reason nothing gets done is because they are all in the same nest.

    Having said that though, if you claim to be a Democrat and think that you have a chance of winning in this state, read the article and see how the rest of that gang has turned out. So, we will just continue down the road to meaningless elections here and move on. We did get that catch phrase though called RINO, it has been cute and effective too.
  5. Glock10mm
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    Glock10mm - November 19, 2010 9:20 am
    "I would enter politics myself as a third party, but I am not a people person..."



    Since when was that ever a requirement? Ever heard of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Chuck Shumer, Charlie Rangel, etc?

  6. Glock10mm
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    Glock10mm - November 19, 2010 9:15 am
    The people have spoken. They have soundly rejected by a wide margin liberalism and democrats. And instead of looking inward and asking why, most libs on this board point fingers and call the electorate dumb and say things like "we're in for more of the same". I don't see much changing for the dems in South Dakota until they change their basic philosophy of big government being the answer to everything, which we know will never happen.
  7. And Justice For All
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    And Justice For All - November 18, 2010 10:14 pm
    196thlightinfantry said: "Exactly IMH Opinion, that is why it is just best to have only one party. That way we can save all the money that goes into buying elections and just appoint. This two party system can only work if there are two parties. So lets just be republicans and we can all get along. The only time we will use the democrats is when we want to blame stuff on them, and call them tax and spend. The best part about it would be that we could then say we had a 100% vote! That would really impress the world, ha, take that China and your puny 98%. "

    Are you serious? AS much as you may hate Democrats, Republicans are no better. In my opinion you need more than two parties in politics to prevent monopolies. If you have only one party then you have the same bad ideas election after election. If there were more than two parties there would be different ideas that may make government run smoother and maybe more economically. I would enter politics myself as a third party, but I am not a people person and cannot stand incompetence. I tend to speak my mind and have gotten in trouble numerous times over my outbursts at people who cannot use common sense.
  8. Rush Mountmore
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    Rush Mountmore - November 18, 2010 9:49 pm
    Hey, Nygaard needs employment; it doesn't matter to him if the job description has a D or R in front of it.

    He should however, get a job that pays better. Maybe as a Democrat, he heard all those stories about "rich Republicans" and hopes some it will rub off.

    If that's the case, he shouldn't believe everything he hears.
  9. High Plains Sifter
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    High Plains Sifter - November 18, 2010 7:31 pm
    For the most part it has always been one party rule in SD.While it has kept us a stable state, it is also the reason why we have the lowest wages in the nation.
  10. UnionCo1234
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    UnionCo1234 - November 18, 2010 7:20 pm
    If everyone in the legislature is Republican who will be there to keep them honest? Where were all the people who were writing letters to the editor complaining that SD did not have open government, that too many things were done behind closed doors, and too many questions remained unanswered? Now we are destined to have more of the same which is not good for democracy.
  11. Reliable Vote
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    Reliable Vote - November 18, 2010 7:20 pm
    On Saturday, Eldon ran for leadership positions in the senate Democratic caucus, and lost. On Thursday, he switches parties. He's all yours, Russ.
  12. 196thlightinfantry
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    196thlightinfantry - November 18, 2010 7:07 pm
    Exactly IMH Opinion, that is why it is just best to have only one party. That way we can save all the money that goes into buying elections and just appoint. This two party system can only work if there are two parties. So lets just be republicans and we can all get along. The only time we will use the democrats is when we want to blame stuff on them, and call them tax and spend.

    The best part about it would be that we could then say we had a 100% vote! That would really impress the world, ha, take that China and your puny 98%.
  13. IMH Opinion
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    IMH Opinion - November 18, 2010 6:24 pm
    People are starting to see that this is not your daddy's Democrat party. The Democrats resemble Obama socialism and government over the people more than any time in the past. it has sadly come to pass that there is no room for Democrats in a free society any longer. Socialism can not allow the people to be free.
  14. 196thlightinfantry
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    196thlightinfantry - November 18, 2010 6:18 pm
    When things get all messed up, it is really not hard to find who to blame for it. High property tax, it is of course, the Democrats...
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