Meet the Candidates in Tuesday's Municipal Election


De Smet’s municipal election, originally scheduled for April 14, was postponed because of COVID-19 and is now set for next Tuesday.
WHAT: Municipal Election
WHERE: De Smet Event and Wellness Center (for social distancing)
WHEN: Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 16.
Absentee voting can be done until June 15 at city hall or, if a voter is ill, by messenger until 3:00 p.m. on Election Day. Call 854-3731 with questions regarding absentee voting.

Ward 1: Lowell "Butch" Hansen

Council history: Ward I incumbent (two terms), three terms in a previous ward.

Focus: “I want to see our city grow in population, business and industry.”

Issues: One of the biggest issues the council is facing is improving main street and city infrastructure.

“The first step is adding the water main loop to the east side of the city. This will enable continued supply of water to both the industrial park and the entire east side.”

Background and Occupation: Hansen has farmed in the De Smet area his entire life.

Family: Hansen and his wife, Barb, have raised three daughters.

Ward 1: Dennis Towers

Council history: Ward I newcomerFocus: Towers is retiring in October and said that being retired will give him plenty of time to serve on the city council.

Issues: “Water and sewer issues are my main concerns. There are issues that need to be taken care of before the town has major problems, and it can be done.”

Background and Occupation: Towers has lived in De Smet for about 15 years and has worked for the Kingsbury County Highway Department for 12 years.

Family: Towers has two grown children. He and his partner Roxane “Sam” Aaneson have been together for 21 years and she has a grown daughter whom he helped raise.

Ward II: Pam Spader

Council history: Ward II newcomer.

Focus: De Smet is a great little community, and Spader wants to see it grow, prosper and move forward.

“De Smet is a great place to live, work, start a business and raise a family. Our focus should be on promoting and taking pride in our city.”

Issues: Spader says the city should improve main street to make it more welcoming and inviting, but she is against losing any more parking spaces downtown.

“I hope that we can do this project and keep it budget-friendly,” she said. “We want the tourists to be so excited about their experience in De Smet that they go home and encourage others to visit here.”

Spader’s other concerns are keeping the De Smet Event & Wellness Center more sustainable, making the swimming pool more friendly for children, parents and grandparents, city infrastructure and housing.

Background and Occupation: Spader is a lifelong resident of De Smet. She operated a clothing store in De Smet for 21 years and is now a chiropractic assistant at Dobson Chiropractic Clinic. She has served on LIW Board of Directors, LIW Pageant, Altar Society at St. Thomas Church and as a member of Chamber of Commerce.

Family: Spader and her husband, Kevin, have three grown children.

Ward II: Anthony Halverson

Council history: Ward II newcomerFocus: Halverson wants everyone to know they can communicate with and trust him.

Issues: Some of the most important issues in the community are looking at budgets and seeing where they can make appropriate cuts. The city also needs to look at updating the current infrastructure.

“I also believe that before we decide to go forward with a project that is going to cost a substantial amount, it should come to a public vote,” he said, adding that if new ordinances are tabled, council members could go out and explain proposed ordinances to people in their respective wards.

“I want to make sure people know that they are the voice to the com- munity and, if elected, I will make it a priority that every single person in Ward II will be heard.”

Background and Occupation: Halverson, a 2011 graduate of De Smet High School, lived in Willow Lake for a time but says he couldn’t leave De Smet behind. He and his family moved back in 2019 and he works for the Kingsbury County Highway Department.

Family: Halverson and his wife, Ali- sha, have three young children.

Ward III: George Cavanaugh

Council history: Unopposed Ward III incumbent. This will be his fourth term.

Focus: “I love serving the people of this great community.”

Issues: Cavanaugh believes the most important issue the city is facing is infrastructure.

“Main street, sewer and water have to be fixed as soon as possible, knowing that all our water and sewer lines are the same age.”

Background and Occupation: Cavanaugh is a 1983 graduate of De Smet High School and works in De Smet at CMI.

Family: He and his wife, Cindy, have a grown daughter and a son who will be a senior at De Smet High School this fall.

Ward III: Shon Asleson

Council history: Unopposed Ward III newcomer

Focus: “I decided to run for city council to become more involved in my community and be a positive voice for the people and their families of my generation.”

Issues: COVID-19 and trying to thrive as a community during this new normal way of living during this pandemic, present and post.

“What is the timeline for the main street upgrades, and how we can draw young people to move here and raise their families.”

Background and Occupation: Asleson is a lifelong resident of De Smet and a 1998 graduate of De Smet High School. He works in De Smet with Castlerock Construction.

Family: Asleson and his wife, Barb, have a grown son and two school-age daughters.


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