KXLG News

Candidates vying for a spot on the District two and four Codington County Commission seats and state legislature from District Five at  Watertown on the Republican ticket met face-to-face recently at a Watertown Chamber sponsored forum.  As part of a series of KXLG reports on these races we're sharing some of their remarks with you. Candidates In the District four commission race include two law enforcement veteran law enforcement officers, including Troy VanDusen, a retired Sergeant with the Watertown Police Department and Toby Wishard, a former Codington County Sheriff.  They were asked how they would address the county’s budget issues during this economic downturn. First Troy VanDusen:

And Toby Wishard’s response:

One of the questions put to both candidates asked their thoughts about Watertown city and county cooperation to manage such things as a possible new jail.  Wishard says the issue came front and center when the state legislature approved legislation mandating the counties would have more jail expenses fall on the county's shoulders.  He says jail numbers have been lower of late because of the covid19 but that it can be likened to a pendulum that goes up and down. Wishard says he has been down the road of county-city partnership discussions.  He reminded the public that state law says that especially jail responsibilities fall under the jurisdiction of the county and he doesn’t see why the city would want that expense:

 Incumbent Troy VanDusen says combining city and county functions isn't an easy thing to do, even though some counties around the state have a great partnership and that, economically, that makes a lot of sense.  With that said, VanDusen says both branches of government have their own separate expenses:

 In days to come before the election you will be hearing more from these candidates on different topics. Later we'll be hearing from the three candidates running for County Commission in District 2.  They are the two Republicans Incumbent Charley Waterman and Jim Didier, and Democrat Travis Paulson. We'll also be hearing from the District 5 Republican Candidates for the state house.