SD State Legislative Candidate Survey: John Carley

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) – John Carley is running for the District 29 State Senate seat. The district is made up of portions of Pennington, Butte, and Meade Counties. Carley faces two primary challengers; Beka Zerbst and Dean Wink.

John Carley is running for the South Dakota State Senate in District 29.(Submitted)

1. Tell us about yourself?

John Carley. I was born and raised about a 5 hr drive from where I live now, in Piedmont (Meade County).  I run a business with my wife of 22 years and 5 kids.  Both my wife and I are republicans and love our state and County and the people in it.  I have strong faith in God, attend and serve in my local church, and have a BS Degree in Organizational Leadership.  I serve on multiple non-profit boards that serve people and the community.  I’m 100% pro life, pro 1st and 2nd amendment. I’m a true conservative.

2. Why are you running for this office?

District 29 (Meade County and parts on Pennington/Butte county) needs real Republicans representing them.

I saw my opponents’ voting record the past year and was shocked to learn a large percentage of their votes were for wasting taxpayer money as well as many votes were with the democrats and liberal legislators and were voting against republican/conservative principles.   These values may have come from them previously living in Los Angeles and Northern California which both have very bad liberal ideas.

I have a great desire to protect South Dakota from the influx of bad liberal ideas, and preserve the conservative values in our county.

Also, ultimately, I prayed about it, and felt called by the Lord to run.

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

1. Constitutional Liberty – conscience freedoms, religious liberty freedoms, less regulations 2. Cut Taxes and Spending – property tax reform, stop the endless COVID money giveaway that keeps people from working & raises inflation 3. Cherish Families – safety and security priority, keep CRT out of schools.

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

BS in Organizational Leadership

35 years of running multiple businesses and employees

Good steward with finances

Have a biblical worldview and love God and people

Elected to committee and board positions

Serve as a board member on numerous boards

Good listener

Work well with people, creating solutions

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

Yes. Property tax reform – already in discussions with some other legislators and candidates. Would require a group of several conservative legislators to assemble legislation that would help residential as well as AG property tax review. There are common sense solutions that allow us to maintain the benefit of property tax (fire, police, roads), yet not drive people out of their land or homes. Also my opponent voted for a tax increase just this past year – this must be stopped AND both opponents voted for increased spending in areas that weren’t necessary – which will inevitably lead to increased taxes/inflation.

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

I don’t think government should manipulate housing prices or spend taxpayer money to manipulate markets.With less regulation, encouraging businesses and jobs, and property tax reform – you would create more opportunity for affordability.

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?

Stop taking Federal inmates.  The temptation of federal money creates an initial excitement, but later it becomes a South Dakota problem of South Dakotan’s picking up the tab AND having the prisons full of Federal inmates.  Encourage churches to take a greater part in their community so that people would be less likely to enter a life of crime.

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

Less regulation.  Make it simple with less paperwork to start a business and hire employees.  Encourage entrepreneurism.  Stop wasting taxpayer money as one of my opponents did spending Sturgis taxpayer money on real estate for a potential business when we should let enterprising people start businesses instead.

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

Resist the current push to go to electronic registration, electronic absentee voting, electronic voting.  Keep it via paper and paper ballots.  Require oversight of parties when counting.  Identify any areas that are most likely to incur fraud and put in safeguards.

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?

Yes, I support banning abortion to this extent as the Governor has indicated.  We have an incredible opportunity in South Dakota to be one of the states that stands up for the beauty of life if this decision is handed down.  We need to be a society that promotes life.  I scored a 100% score on my pro-life surveys, while one of my opponents refused to answer and my other opponent has a mixed pro-life record.

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

I am against recreational marijuana.  It creates harm to people and those around them and increases crime in the area as demonstrated by other states who have already gone down this route.

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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