Gideon Oakes announced Tuesday he is seeking the state senate seat held by Sen. Lance Russell.
Oakes, 34, is a Keystone-area real estate agent and former restaurateur who serves as chairman of the Libertarian Party of South Dakota. He and his wife, Mary, have two children.
In addition to being elected twice to the Keystone Board of Trustees between 2012 and 2016, he has also served on the Keystone Fire Protection District as well as the boards of several civic organizations, including Black Hills & Badlands Association, Keystone Economic Development Association, Holy Terror Days Association and United Way of the Southern Black Hills.
Oakes first ran for the seat in 2018 against Russell, a Republican, and Democrat Kristine Ina Winter, earning 2,134 votes, or nearly one in five of all votes cast.
"We brought a unifying message that resonated with Republicans, Democrats, Independents and Libertarians alike," Oakes said. "And we’re going to do the same thing in 2020. If there’s one thing we need during these trying times, it’s unity."
"Over the years, I’ve watched many principled candidates go to Pierre, only to be brought in line by their party leadership. And, I’ve also seen candidates go to Pierre with such a narrow agenda that they become a voice for only a select few," Oakes said. "I will always put principle before party, and above all, I will always listen."
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