Ahlers takes aim at U.S. Senate seat

By: 
Staff report
Dan Ahlers
A former state legislator is now taking aim at a U.S. Senate seat to represent South Dakota. 
Dan Ahlers, 45, a former District 25 Democratic legislator from Dell Rapids, announce his candidacy last month in his home community. District 25 includes Valley Springs and surrounding rural area.
“Washington has been taken over by partisan politics. Politicians are more concerned with the next election than getting the work of the people done. South Dakota deserves representation that will listen and find solutions for today’s challenges,” Ahlers said.
Although yet to be determined, Ahlers could challenge either Republican incumbent U.S. Senator Mike Rounds or State Rep. Scyller Borglum (R-Rapid City), who has announced his candidacy. Rounds has not announced if he will seek re-election, but has held a variety of fundraisers in recent months.
Ahlers has been a small business owner and entrepreneur for nearly 20 years. In addition to his business experience, he is the current president of the Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce, interim Chamber administrator, and spent six years in the State Senate (2009-10) and House (2007-08 and 2017-18). Ahlers is an active community member, contributing numerous hours and leadership to local events, boards and charities. He has a bachelor’s degree in government and international relations from Augustana Univeristy.
“Dan Ahlers has a strong background in small business and economic development. He has a proven record of looking after taxpayers’ dollars in Pierre and building relationships across the aisle and with the people he represents,” said Billie Sutton.
Ahlers has served in both the South Dakota House and Senate. His leadership has been nationally recognized by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and is the recipient of the BILLD and Henry Toll Fellowship through the Council of State Governments. 
His accomplishments include helping balance the state’s budget, improving funding for schools, increasing Medicaid reimbursements to critical need service providers, helping fund the new State Veteran’s Cemetery and establishing an advisory council to improve the delivery of educational services for children who are deaf and hard of hearing.
He is leading a petition drive to ask voters on the 2020 ballot whether an amendment should be added to the South Dakota Constitution establishing a commission to complete the legislative redistricting that occurs every decade after the census.

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