Estes brings business background to council race

2013-03-30T08:00:00Z Estes brings business background to council raceAaron Orlowski Journal staff Rapid City Journal
March 30, 2013 8:00 am  • 

While others talk about economic development, Brad Estes, a candidate for the Ward 5 Rapid City council seat, is doing it.

Estes, 55, has built hotels and houses and has a stake in Buffalo Wildwings in Rapid City. He will take those credentials into the June 4 election against Council Member Ron Sasso, a counselor seeking his second term in office.

For Estes, the goal is making Rapid City an attractive place to move to and start a business.

"I just want to make sure that as we spend money going forward, that we make sure we're reinvesting money in our streets and in the neighborhoods," he said.

Estes served three and a half years of a four-year term on the city council in Wall, where he grew up before moving to Rapid City in 1991. He's built hotels from Wyoming to Rapid City as well as the Gold Dust casino in Deadwood.

Estes said he wants to stay out of what he calls the bickering, the grandstanding and the political attacks at city hall.

"I'm really trying to just stay neutral right now. I'm trying to go in there with no bias. There's been so much, it seems to me, clutter going on in the council. I want to be involved in the business of the city," he said. "I'm not a politician."

Estes has a wife, Debra, and two adult children.

Contact Aaron Orlowski at 484-7069 or

Copyright 2015 Rapid City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(19) Comments

  1. beauzeau
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    beauzeau - April 05, 2013 5:50 pm
    You talking to me or someone else ? I dont have a government funded job, do you ?
  2. RC kid
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    RC kid - April 05, 2013 2:12 pm
    no by "ilk" I mean people with zero idea what it is like to actually have to meet a payroll and keep a business afloat while people with government funded jobs sit around and complain about the government spending. Can't you just feel the irony?
  3. RC kid
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    RC kid - April 05, 2013 2:08 pm
    Aaron ignore Sam, he's just mad because for once he didn't have his own personal writer on staff.
  4. Frank Smith
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    Frank Smith - April 05, 2013 10:05 am
    Or he could abstain from the council. That would be even better.
  5. Frank Smith
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    Frank Smith - April 05, 2013 10:04 am
    Ron is much, much more than a "counselor", but you wouldn't know that by this article. Thanks Aaron, another job well done. When will you be leaving for California again?
  6. Roland
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    Roland - April 04, 2013 3:14 pm
    I don't know anyone who has an answer to the pay issue. Anyone know what WL Plastics is going to pay people?
  7. ZAR
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    ZAR - April 04, 2013 10:13 am
    "For Estes, the goal is making Rapid City an attractive place to move to and start a busines"

    I guess that goal of his would be to assure low paying jobs for the future, what better way to get people to move here and start a buisness.
    Of course if all we have for candidates is the Evangelical Sasso or buiness as usual Estes, then I would have to put my lot in with Estes. Pretty sad day all around!
  8. Roland
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    Roland - April 04, 2013 9:35 am
    Heart is fine, as long as there are brains attached. That is also rare...
  9. beauzeau
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    beauzeau - April 02, 2013 12:36 pm
    I must have struck a nerve? what is the average demographic of elected officials in DC ? those that are spending 80 percent more than the estimated revenue for the USA this year ? those that cant grasp we are in trouble fiscally ? they are in their fifties, BUSINESS men and women, most of which probably have masters degrees in business. They are arrogant, selfish and shortsighted. Those folks infect every level of government between Washington DC and the local school board. They are not blue collar folks that have to work for others and know what working together means. Sacrifice for those folks means suspending their country club membership. Educated business folks that have a heart for serving others, while seeking the power public office brings is rare. I say we hold on to Sasso and Kooiker, they are rare.
  10. beauzeau
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    beauzeau - April 01, 2013 7:56 pm
    by "ilk" do you mean the majority?
  11. RC kid
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    RC kid - April 01, 2013 3:34 pm
    Since when is being in business and successful a bad thing? This is America last time I checked. I find it funny that those of you who work for the government complain the most about tax increases. If Brad acts like he does in business, Rapid City will be far better off. Perhaps you should ditch the cushy tax payer funded job with its fat retirement and join those who put their name on the line every day and create jobs and those tax dollars you wish to spend only on the things you and your ilk deem necessary.
  12. beauzeau
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    beauzeau - March 31, 2013 9:31 pm
    Personally, I want folks elected that represent me. Generally, business owners do not represent others well. Usually they have spent their entire lives ordering other folks around and making decisions based on what is best for themselves and not the public. I do not know Brad, but the chances are really good he will act on the council the way he does at his business. When it came time to hold the line on taxes (taking the CPI) who on the council supported it? and who supported the average taxpayer? THINK ABOUT IT.
  13. Frank Smith
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    Frank Smith - March 31, 2013 8:25 pm
    I don't care weather he is pro or anti-Kooiker. As long as he is pro-Taxpayer, that's all that matters to me. Abstaining from votes meets that test as far as I am long as it actually happens.
  14. WOFY
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    WOFY - March 31, 2013 10:01 am
    Easy he can abstain from any votes with his cousin whom he has no financial interest. What would be the other areas? Other than he woudl not be a Kooiker Patsy.
  15. WOFY
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    WOFY - March 31, 2013 9:59 am
    Replacing Sasso with Brad would be a leap forward no doubt.
    Vote Estes I will be.
  16. RC kid
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    RC kid - March 30, 2013 2:53 pm
    Potential for conflict of interest? Other than his cousin, which he has no dealings with, please, Mr Mayor, state the areas which he would be conflicted? I doubt it is unusual for members of the city to have conflicts of interest from time to time if they have jobs that are not government funded.
  17. Frank Smith
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    Frank Smith - March 30, 2013 2:12 pm
    Agreed. There seems like a lot of potential for conflict of interest (in a lot of areas) which could explain what you need to know about this candidate.
  18. purchased
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    purchased - March 30, 2013 1:58 pm
    I've known Brad for many years and worked on many projects of his
    in the Rapid City and Deadwood city's. He has always been honest and
    sincere with his dealings in the construction buisness and with me. I wish him the best
    and i think he would be a great councilman for Rapid City.. GO BRAD!!!!
  19. counting
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    counting - March 30, 2013 11:17 am
    Seems like an impressive resume. My only question is what if Mr. Estes is elected. What will happen with the pending litigation involving his family member and the housing development in east Rapid City. Seems like a conflict.
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