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D10, D14 & Minnehaha Dems host Jamie Smith and Brian Bengs at McKennan Park rally

Updated: Apr 3

South Dakota Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jamie Smith speaks before a crowd of more than 350 people at McKennan Park in Sioux Falls. Behind him are some of the UFCW Local 304a members who worked the grill at the “Picnic and Politics in the Park” rally.

More than 350 people attended an evening political rally and picnic sponsored by the Democrats of District 10, District 14, and Minnehaha County at Sioux Falls’ McKennan Park on July 13, 2022.

Remarks by Jamie Smith, the 2022 Democratic candidate for South Dakota governor, his running mate, SD State Representative Jennifer Keintz, and Brian Bengs, the 2022 Democratic candidate for United States Senate, met with applause and cheers from the assembled crowd.

“We had an absolutely great night in McKennan Park,” Smith said the next day. “A big thank you is in order for the folks who organized this event, including the District 10 and District 14 Democrats and the UFCW Local 304a members who do so much. It was incredible how many people showed up hungry for a change.”

“We’re going to need everyone to band together and work hard to restore civility to South Dakota. But after last night, I’m confident that we have the people and the energy to win this race,” said Smith.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Brian Bengs addresses attendees at the “Picnic & Politics in the Park” event at Sioux Falls’ McKennan Park sponsored by DIstrict 10, District 14, and Minnehaha County Dems.

Bengs seconded Smith’s comments, saying that seeing so many people “in the middle of July who are already fired up for change lets me know we are on the right track. I look forward to many more visits to Minnehaha County over the next four months!”

Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 304a, including President BJ Motley, grilled hot dogs to feed attendees of the event billed as “Picnic and Politics in the Park.” Kooper Caraway, president of the South Dakota Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, also attended.

Minnehaha County Democratic Party Chair Erik Muckey echoed the top-of-ticket candidates. He thanked Democrats running local legislative, county, statewide, and congressional campaigns as well as event organizers for giving community members the chance to meet with and hear from “leaders who are here to serve the needs of Minnehaha County and South Dakota.”

Statewide, county and legislative Democratic candidates from the Minnehaha County districts laugh and chat after being introduced to event attendees at “Picnic & Politics in the Park.”

“Events like these make it clear that our county and state are ready for leaders who serve people above politics,” Muckey said.

Jessica Meyers, who is running for state senate in District 12, noted, “As a legislative candidate, it’s important to get to know each individual in our district. Opportunities like this allow our potential voters to get to know us and see exactly what district they live in Sioux Falls.”

With the exception of District 13, which skews heavily Republican after SD lawmakers recently redrew district lines, the Democratic Party is fielding legislative candidates in every Minnehaha County district.

Democratic candidate for SD Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Keintz poses for an impromptu snapshot with gubernatorial candidate Jamie Smith’s parents at McKennan P-ark in Sioux Falls on July 13, 2022.

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