SD State Legislative Candidate Survey: Gary Cammack

South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)
South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)(DAKOTA NEWS NOW)
Published: Jun. 5, 2022 at 10:16 PM MDT
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UNION CENTER, S.D. (KOTA) - Gary Cammack is running for election to the South Dakota State House in District 29. The district includes the cities of Faith, Union Center, and Sturgis within its boundaries. Cammack faces two primary challengers; Kathy Rice and Kirk Chaffee.

Gary Cammack is running for the South Dakota State House in District 29.
Gary Cammack is running for the South Dakota State House in District 29.(Submitted)

1. Tell us about yourself?

Hello, my name is Gary Cammack. I am a rancher and operate a ranch supply store.

2. Why are you running for this office?

The opportunity to have a hand in improving the State of South Dakota, making the decisions that will keep our state moving forward, and preserving our quality of life.

3. What would be your top three priorities if elected?

My top three priorities would be to maintain the fiscal strength of South Dakota, for instance, our AAA credit rating and 100 plus percent funding for the state retirement fund, adequate funding for education and infrastructure, maintain a balanced budget, and guard against legislation that could harm the State of South Dakota.

4. What relevant experience would you bring to the office?

I think I am qualified due to operating my ranch and ranch supply store for the last forty years, having the experience of my fifty-year marriage, raising four boys, ten grandchildren, having served four years as the Meade County Commissioner, two years in the House of Representatives, eight years as a Senator, and serving as President Pro tempore of the Senate and Senate Majority Leader.

5. Do you support tax relief for South Dakotans? If so, what type and how would you make it happen?

I am always looking for ways to make state government more efficient, also looking for revenue streams that doesn’t reflect citizen’s tax dollars.

6. Housing availability has become an issue for many South Dakotans. How would you seek to make housing more affordable?

I would seek to make housing more affordable by ensuring that the appropriation for housing infrastructure that we passed last session gets implemented as soon as possible and seek out public private partnerships that could help solve the problem.

7. South Dakota correctional facilities have been dealing with a number of issues, most prominent among them overcrowding and staffing shortages. What would you do to help combat these issues?

We are going to seek programs to keep as many people out of the correctional facilities as possible. The aging facilities that we have are going to need to be replaced in the near future. We need to do this in a responsible, well-planned and orderly fashion. We will spend the tax-payer’s dollars wisely.

8. What steps should the legislature take to entice young people to remain in the state?

I believe that we have done a good job in investing in our universities, but we need to continue to attract industries that have high paying jobs at the entry-level.

9. Do you support any changes to the way elections are run in South Dakota?

I believe in the integrity of the elections in South Dakota. We have one-hundred percent paper ballots, none of our voting machines are hooked up to the internet, and we have to continue to look for improvements in our security and integrity of our elections.

10. A U.S. Supreme Court decision is looming on a landmark abortion case that could ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade. Governor Kristi Noem has indicated she would like to ban abortion outright, and a “trigger law” already on the books would so, with only an exception in place when the mother’s life is at risk. Do you support banning abortion to this extent? If not, what exceptions would you like to see made?

I support the position of the Governor in this matter.

11. What is your stance on legalized, recreational marijuana in South Dakota?

I am not in favor of legalized marijuana, having said that, it is the legislature’s job that if it is the will of the people, that we provide the framework for the necessary regulations.

State legislative candidates in contested districts this primary season were emailed the same survey to complete for Dakota News Now/KOTA Territory News. Candidates were asked to keep their responses limited to roughly 4-5 sentences for each question. With the exception of a quick spelling and grammar check, answers were not edited by the poster. Those who responded to the survey questions had their results posted.

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