SD Legislative Candidate Survey: Darren Friedel

The South Dakota State Capitol Building in Pierre at sunrise.
The South Dakota State Capitol Building in Pierre at sunrise.(Austin Goss DNN/KOTA)
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 11:06 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Darren Friedel is a Libertarian running for the South Dakota State Senate in District 33. District 33 is made up of the western Rapid City area. Friedel is one of two Libertarians running for the state legislature in South Dakota in 2022. He will face incumbent David Johnson in the general election.

1. Who are you? Tell us about yourself in 100 words or less.

I am Darren Freidel.  I Grew up in Dimock SD.  I moved to the Black Hills area in 2000.  I spent 20 years serving the state and nation in the Army National Guard. I am a Cybersecurity Engineer for a consulting firm.  I love the Black Hills and the people who reside in it.  It is my civic duty to help make the state a better place for my family and the families of my district.

2. What prompted you to run for office? 

I couldn’t let my opponent run unopposed.  After years of seeing the legislature go against the will of the people I decided I would give my constituents a new voice that would represent their interests. Too often our state politicians vote along party lines and ignore their voters.  I will not do that.  As a Libertarian I am going to do what my voters call for and what is best for them. I will work with members of both parties to do what my voters wish me to do.

3. What public policies are you passionate about? What would your policy priorities be in Pierre?

I am for lower taxes and less governmental interference in day to day business.  I believe that local jurisdictions should have the ability to govern themselves without restrictions from Pierre.

4. Cutting the grocery tax has become central to this election cycle. Do you think that the legislature should cut the grocery tax next legislative session? Is there any taxes you would cut instead, or in addition to?

I think that this grocery tax issue has become a ploy to get re-elected.  The current legislature has had plenty of opportunities to repeal this tax over the last several sessions.  It only became popular among the politicians when it was election time.   I would push to cut not only the grocery tax but also property taxes.

5. The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier in the year. South Dakota currently has a law that prevents abortion almost completely outright. Are there any exceptions you would like to see the legislature enact? What other laws would you like to see passed to support mothers and families?

I believe in a woman’s right to choose. It is between the doctors and their patients to determine what is best.  I feel that the legislature needs to make it easier for families to adopt.  Giving women options to determine what is best for their body.

6. Recreational marijuana is on the ballot in November. If it passes, would you commit to legalizing it?

This issue should not even be on the ballot.  It is another example of the State going against the will of the people.  I would be committed to legalizing it.  If a majority of voters have approved a measure it should be state law.  Politicians answer to the people not the other way around.

7. What is the most important quality for an elected official to possess?

I believe that integrity is the most important quality.  Having the integrity to go against their own party for the benefit of their constituents.  This state and country are ruled by the people not politicians.

8. Who do you take inspiration from, and why? 

I take inspiration from our founding fathers.  They were against overly taxing their people.  They were for liberty. They were for the freedom to govern ourselves.   Much too often politicians get to comfortable and forget that they answer to the people.