Rep. Deadrick, Sen. Gant, Deputy Bray are first into the pool

We continue to check daily to see which candidates for state office have filed their 2009 campaign finance reports. Unless I’ve missed something, the first to show up on the Secretary of State’s official web site are reports from three of the people running for … secretary of state!

They’re state Rep. Thomas Deadrick, R-Platte; Deputy Secretary of State Teresa Bray; and state Sen. Jason Gant, R-Sioux Falls. All three are seeking the Republican nomination to succeed Secretary of State Chris Nelson. (He’s term-limited and running for the Republican nomination for U.S. House of Representatives.)

Deadrick, Bray and Gant all filed their reports Jan. 27.

Deadrick reports raising $5,841 and spending $2,370 in 2009. His itemized receipts came from two people: himself for $691 and brother-in-law John Persinger for $5,000. He also reports receiving $150 in unitemized receipts.

Bray reports raising $6,445 including a $1,000 contribution from Nelson’s campaign committee and spending $13. (That’s not a misprint.) She also reports in-kind contributions valued at $17,696 for tee shirts, banners, printing, travel and other campaign expenses, which she paid for. 

Gant reports raising $15,025 and spending $7,858. His campaign also owes $7,842 to him for money he’s personally laid out. His revenue includes $5,883 he transferred from his Senate account.

Sen. Ben Nesselhuf of Vermillion, who’s seeking the Democratic nomination for secretary of state, filed his report today. As of 11:30 a.m., it hadn’t been posted yet today on the SOS web site (

Feb. 1 is the deadline to file.

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About Bob Mercer

I am a newspaper reporter in Pierre where I cover state government, issues and politics for the Aberdeen American News, the Black Hills Pioneer, the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Pierre Capital Journal, the Rapid City Journal, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Yankton Press & Dakotan. I began covering the Legislature in 1985 and have lived in Pierre since December 1986. I grew up in Wisconsin, worked my way through college, took my first full-time newspapers jobs in Wyoming, and have lived in South Dakota since the summer of 1984 when I moved to Aberdeen to join the American News. I worked for the Rapid City Journal as its state government reporter in Pierre from late 1992 through late 1998. I spent four years as press secretary and a senior aide to Gov. Bill Janklow during his fourth and final term from late 1998 through 2002. I returned to journalism in January 2003 as a self-employed reporter, providing state government coverage to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre and, depending on the year, Aberdeen newspapers. In 2008, the Aberdeen American News offered to hire me as full-time member of the AAN staff, with my reports continuing to be available to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre, Yankton and Rapid City papers. The new arrangement has been in effect since January 2009 as the seven papers continue their remarkable dedication to their readers and the general public, as the only South Dakota news outlets with a full-time reporter covering state government in Pierre throughout the year. In addition to focusing on the Legislature during the annual winter session and its various activities during the interim periods between sessions, I spend many days throughout the year -- traveling as often necessary -- to cover state government boards and commissions which oversee the state universities, technical institutes, outdoors, water, environment, business, public schools, banking, agriculture, utilities, health care and various other areas of public interest. I purposely don't register to vote because of my profession; the last time I recall voting in a presidential election was the first time, 1976, when I had just turned 18. I think I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. Make of that what you want, just don't make much of it.

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