Ernie Otten, Jr. won his 2nd term for the District 6 State Senate seat on November 4th, 2014; and was then elected by his peers to serve as one of three Majority Whips.  Senator Otten serves on Senate State Affairs, Transportation, and State Tribal- Relations.

“I want to thank the voter’s of District 6 for this opportunity to serve.  I am truly humbled by your overwhelming support,” said Otten, a life-long resident of District 6.

The Otten family settled in Tea in 1881.  Otten and his wife Betty raised their two sons there, and both sons are now married and raising their families in South Dakota.

“This is one of the finest places on earth to raise a family and pursue the American dream,” Otten said.  “But even here, big-government is beginning to kill jobs and hurt people.”

Otten runs in support of limited government, focusing on growing jobs, protecting family values, defending the 2nd Amendment, and supporting the community.

“We must promote real economic development by keeping taxes low and reducing government over-regulation,” Otten said.  “South Dakotans expect small, responsible and open government.  That’s what I ran on, and that’s what I work hard for in Pierre.”

Otten has over 29 years of small business experience, both as an employee and as a business owner.  He has been active in the home building industry since 1975 and is an associate member of the Remodeling Council and the Homebuilders Association.

Otten is active in the community, where he and his wife Betty attend Abiding Savior Lutheran Church and support the Alpha Center, Mission Haiti and World Vision.   Ernie spent many years ministering to inmates at the local prison, and also serves as a Precinct Committeeman and State Central Committeeman with the Lincoln County Republican Party.

“As a small-businessman, I’ve seen firsthand the serious problems caused by big-government policies like ObamaCare,” Otten said.  “We must also stand firm for strong family values, for the right to life, and for traditional marriage.  South Dakota enjoys a proud heritage of hunting and responsible firearms ownership.  I will continue to stand up for citizen self-defense and will work to preserve the 2nd Amendment.”

First Term Accomplishments:

  • Appointed & serve on three Senate Committees:
    • Ag & Natural Resources, Taxation, & Transportation
  • Appointed & serve on State-Tribal Relations
  • Chaired the summer Consumer Protection Taskforce which included bi-partisan legislators, statewide businesses & organizations
    • The resulting bill, SB 23, revised Consumer Protection Laws which passed both Chambers almost unanimously
  • Appointed Chair of Senate Taxation Committee at the beginning of the second year of my first term
  • Sponsored SB 63 which protects private student data from being shared with the Federal Government and from being sold to 3rd parties. The bill passed both the Senate and House unanimously
  • Common Core: Sponsored SB 64 which provided a 2-yr waiting period for the adoption of new standards & provided for public comment. Passed both Chambers with almost unanimous bi-partisan support
  • Co-sponsored SB 70 which reformed Criminal Justice Laws. Passed both Chambers with bi-partisan support
  • Co-sponsored HB 1071 which protects small school districts’ boundary lines & prevents loss of tax revenue. Passed with bi-partisan support
  • Was selected to attend intensive bi-partisan Leadership Training with other Midwestern & Canadian legislators

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