Republican politicians and candidates for office flocked to Hot Springs Friday evening to attend the annual Lincoln Day Dinner hosted by the Fall River County Republicans.
The event took place at Woolly's Cellar and Grill. Well over 100 people were present to eat dinner, participate in the cake auction fundraiser and to hear candidates stump.
The evening started with Joe Faulkenberg, head of the Fall River County Commission presiding over the cake auction.
Though the primary election is not until June 5, the dining room was teaming with excitement. Jim Sword, the State's Attorney for Fall River and Oglala Lakota Counties and the event's emcee described the energy, saying, "we are a rowdier group than most."
Speeches were given to the crowd starting with candidates for local elections and ending with candidates for the U.S. House seat and governor of South Dakota.
Scott Davis, candidate for Fall River County Sheriff addressed the crowd.
District 30 was well represented with State Representative candidates Julie Fry-Mueller and Timothy Goodwin present. State Senate candidate Bruce Rampelberg also spoke.
Three candidates for Attorney General addressed the crowd, including: Lawrence County State's Attorney John Fitzgerald, Jason Ravnsborg of Yankton and State Senator Lance Russell of Hot Springs.
All three republican candidates for South Dakota's U.S. House of Representatives' seat gave speeches, including: businessman Dusty Johnson, South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs and South Dakota State Senator Neal Tapio.
Republican gubernatorial candidates were the final speakers. South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley and U.S. Representative Kristi Noem were both in attendance.
Both Jackley and Noem had independent events in Hot Springs prior to the dinner.
After touring a few facilities in Hot Springs, like the State Veterans Home, Jackley hosted a round table discussion with community members at Stay USA. During the discussion, he spoke to the importance of tourism, law enforcement and education. Jackley stated that he would like to look at adjusting the school funding formula. He discussed the housing shortage in Hot Springs. He advocated for the state to have partnerships with local governments but stressed that both parties must have "skin in the game" to make such relationships work.
Noem's event was a town hall meeting at the American Legion. During her interactions with citizens, Noem addressed crime, drugs and alcohol, jobs and education. Noem also stated interest in changing education policy in the state, saying, " the Department of Education is first on the list for reform."