In the 2022 State of the State Address, Gov. Kristi Noem could be seen carrying pails of water to help put out the fire in SD's 35th Legislative District.
Noem-appointed Jessica Castleberry needed a political lifejacket after the State Senator found herself swept into the toxic fallout of Representative Tim Goodwin, a House Majority Whip who made headlines buzz after he led a coup against House Republican Leadership. Tim Goodwin had been eyeing the Senate seat of D30's Julie Frye-Mueller, and sought to position himself within Schoenbeck's cartoonish super-villain plot to reshape the state legislature. Goodwin was all too willing to sell the soul of his intern "Kelly, Carie," or whatever her name is, into a Faustian Bargain with Senator Lee Schoenbeck.
I confronted Tim Goodwin about his spreading of the rumor that I "told him: that I wanted to primary his rival, my other boss, Rep. Tony Randolph. I asked him directly, "Do you want me to run?" Rep. Goodwin seemed to blush as he evaded the question, saying that he "couldn't be involved." Though the reason he gave was that he has his own campaign going on. This was unnerving, considering that he had taken it upon himself to start planning out major career decisions on my behalf, though without bothering to ask what my long-term goals are. This was extremely concerning, because a toxic and controlling talent manager sounds like an exhausting waste of my time. The good Representative abused his power, evidenced clearly by the fact that he did not want to be involved. He would only claim to not be involved and yet when it came time for him to cash in on all of those unsolicited and uncomfortably extravagant career favors; I would never be rid of him and I would never hear the end of it. Something along the lines of being nothing without him, all that he has done for me, and so on.
Rep. Tim Goodwin's foreboding comment aside; it would look highly unethical if his young, female intern who worked in the Pierre Statehouse for a mere three months were to suddenly rise to power in a dark horse political campaign bank-rolled by Pac'n-Heat and the President Pro Tempore of the State Senate. There is no getting around the fact that the House campaign for D35 would have been tainted with scandalous public perceptions, doomed to forever reek of a corruption so blatantly obvious that even the talent Pat Powers of DakotaWarCollege wouldn't have been able to cover up the peculiar odor wafting out of D35. State legislators Drew Dennert, at 21, and Jenna Haggar, at 25, hold the records for the youngest legislators ever elected to the Pierre Statehouse; both are also the blood relatives of former state legislators. If elected, at 24 I would have taken the record for the youngest woman to enter the SD state legislature to date; having no name recognition, and not even having been born in this state. So, I had to ask myself, "What is the catch here?" Because no amount of candy-coated benevolence could mask the fact that some hidden agenda was at play. My suspicion that Tim Goodwin was up to something would later prove to be justified when Austin Goss' exposé of his coup revealed his true allegiances.
House Majority Whip Tim Goodwin's behavior toward me was unprofessional to say the absolute very least. It was certainly unbecoming of an elected official, but especially one who is said to occupy a leadership role within the state legislature. Members of the House and Senate Leadership wield and enormous amount of authority over, and responsibility for, the safety and wellbeing of the pages and interns at the Capitol. In a meeting with Senator Castleberry in her downtown Rapid City office, the constituents of District 35 were described as "100% freedom, low taxes, and they don't like to be told what to do." Senator Castleberry told me that Lee Schoenbeck would fundraise over ten thousand dollars for my primary race alone, "easily." I was told that we had to "be careful" about how we do this. I replied with surprise, "Careful, how?" She responded, "Well, careful because I was accused of having a shadowy organization behind my campaign." I was deeply unsettled by her statement. I was later told by a female lobbyist that the Senator is someone who I can trust "because she's a woman."
So, D30 and D35 Republicans: do you really know who is on your ballot this June?