By Dan Bechtold/ Editor
Congressman Dusty Johnson, who is running for re-election this year, spoke to the Winner High School government class via Zoom Monday morning. Johnson was asked what he sees as far as change in Congress after the Nov. 3 election.
He thinks there will be a lot of change. He thinks there maybe 60 to 70 turnovers in the House and 10 in the U.S. Senate. “There is a lot of dynamic energy in our system and that is good,” he told the students.
Johnson is a freshman legislator as he was elected in the last general election. He was asked what it is like to be a freshman in Congress. He said it is better than he thought. He noted the bipartisanship has made his freshman experience rewarding. Johnson was asked how COVID-19 has affected his job. “It makes everything harder and everything more complicated. I don’t like it and you can put me down as being anti-COVID. It has made the experience serving in Congress less rewarding,” he said.
Now with COVID Johnson is doing more work in his hometown of Mitchell. Prior to COVID, he spent half of his time in South Dakota and half of the time in Washington, D.C. Now, it is three-fourths of his time in South Dakota.
The Congressman admitted it makes it harder to get things done.
Two weeks ago, Johnson served as a substitute teacher in Mitchell. He wanted to see what it was like in the year of COVID. “The students who were in class it was so much easier to engage them compared to the ones who are home doing e-learning.” Johnson added: “I feel badly we have not risen to the challenge quite as effectively as I know Americans can. When America is united and working together there is nothing that can beat us. It seems in the last few months Americans are more divided and when that is the case we are beating ourselves. That is really unfortunate.”
A student asked who his running mate was in the Nov. 3 election. He said it is Randy “Uriah” Luallin, Hot Springs, of the Libertarian Party. Johnson said this is the first time in the history of single House seat in South Dakota that the Democrats have not put up a candidate.
When asked to predict who will win on Tuesday, Johnson explained the polls show Joe Biden is leading President Trump. “But who knows, millions of Americans have yet to vote and we will not know the outcome till all the ballots are counted,” he said