Since his tragic death last month, state Rep. Craig Tieszen, of Rapid City, has been memorialized across the state and across the political spectrum as a thoughtful, honest, levelheaded, common-sense public servant.

Perhaps even more importantly given the times that we inhabit, Tieszen has been described as a paragon of civility. Countless stories exist of lawmakers, bureaucrats, lobbyists, constituents and journalists who had adversarial discussions with Tieszen, and yet found him to be exceptionally open-minded, respectful and willing to listen to opposing opinions.

Because the Rapid City Journal believes that politics needs more people with those qualities, the newspaper is creating what it hopes will be an annual Craig Tieszen Award for Civility in Lawmaking.

The newspaper is soliciting nominations for the 2018 award from lawmakers and will also accept nominations from the public. Please send an email to identifying the legislator you believe is most deserving of the award, and please tell us what makes the legislator deserving. Keep in mind that we’re hoping to honor the legislator who best embodies the qualities of civility for which Tieszen was so respected.

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We will compile the responses, choose a winner, and deliver the award during the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s annual Newspaper Day at the Legislature, which is scheduled for Jan. 25 during the upcoming legislative session.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this effort, which we hope will honor Tieszen’s memory and uphold his civil conduct as an example for current and future legislators.

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