Rapid City attorney Jay Shultz announced that he will run for a seat representing state House District 34, which encompasses west Rapid City.
Shultz, a Democrat, will proceed to the November general election ballot with Democrat Darla Drew. Incumbent Republican Reps. Mike Derby and Jess Olson will face a challenge from Jodie Frye in the June 7 Republican primary.
Shultz is a native of Rapid City and has been in private practice as an attorney for 37 years. He said he is running for office because he feels it is time for voters to elect a moderate Democrat to restore balance to state government.
"My only agenda is to restore balance, accountability and transparency in state government, and to respect the will of the people of South Dakota," Shultz said. "One-party government has allowed extremists to take control, and our legislators spend their time and our valuable resources on divisive social issues, debating for example whether individuals can determine their own gender and identity as human beings, and the availability of abortion medication."
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Shultz said the one-party control has been used to "thwart the will of the people."
"On real issues like providing health care coverage to the 45,000 South Dakotans who lack it, legalizing marijuana use for adults, and reducing corruption and the influence of special interests, our current legislators thwart the will of the people and follow the dictates of the Republican machine," Shultz said. "I'm ready to represent all the people of the district and to work on the issues they care about."
Shultz has represented clients in civil and criminal cases, in both state and federal court. He is a graduate of Central High School and the University of South Dakota. Shultz earned his law degree at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.
He is a founding member of the Prairie Family Business Association, was co-chair of the YMCA Capital Campaign in 1995-97, and served on the board of directors of Feeding South Dakota for six years.
"The current balance and control in our state legislature needs to be re-set. This can only be done by electing moderate Democrats," he said. "I would be honored to serve the people of Rapid City at this critical time."