Stace Nelson, who is known for challenging establishment politics and was responsible for introducing legislation in 2018 that led to chislic being named the official state “nosh,” is stepping aside as a District 19 Senator serving in the South Dakota Legislature.
In an email sent to area newspapers Sunday afternoon, Nov. 17, Nelson said he is retiring from politics, effective Dec. 10, for reasons that include being slowed by military service-related injuries.
“While not the only reason for my departure from politics, it is a contributing factor,” he wrote. “My family has been after me for years to get out of politics; my beloved wife has been more than patient despite how unfair it has been to her over the years. I will no longer leave my wife home alone for days on end while in session in Pierre.”
Nelson also cited frustrations with elected officials and their response to “flooding and misery many of you suffered” this past year.
“These politicians can call special sessions to raise your taxes, deploy National Guard troops to foreign countries and blow your hard-earned tax dollars on pheasant habitat boards and other excessive spending,” he wrote. “However, they refused to have our troops help those devastated by the flooding or provide emergency financial aid to communities hard hit twice this year.
“Add in the debacle of last session of them entering the $4.9 billion annual budget bill as a brand new bill during the last minutes of session, at 1:30 a.m., and then passing it within minutes without any hearings or serious discussion, with most legislators not even reading the bill, and you can start to understand how an honest public servant would want to be away from such dysfunction and corruption,” Nelson continued. “I’ve loved serving you even as I’ve hated serving amidst the corruption and dysfunctional politics of combating the political machine that runs South Dakota.
“It is with regret, but relief of having survived South Dakota’s corrupt politics, that I will retire permanently and completely from politics,” he wrote.
Nelson is from Fulton and was first elected to the South Dakota House of Representatives in 2010 and to the state senate in 2016. He easily won re-election last November over Democratic challenger Arden Wek. Nelson is recommending that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem appoint Michael Boyle, a pastor from Parkston, as his replacement.