South Dakota: Dykstra Team Mixes the Local and the National

Posted December 17, 2007 at 6:49pm

State Rep. Joel Dykstra (R), engaged in an uphill battle as he seeks to oust popular incumbent Sen. Tim Johnson (D), has started filling out his campaign staff.

Signing on to advise Dykstra are general consultant Scott Cottington, a former political director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, media consultant Jim Farwell, pollster Hans Kaiser of Moore Information and Washington, D.C.-based political action committee fundraiser Andrew Theodore.

In state, Dykstra has hired locals to man his campaign.

Barry Wilfahrt of Watertown is acting as Dykstra’s finance director. Wilfahrt is the former president and CEO of the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce.

Sue Salter of Brandon is serving as Dykstra’s communications director. Salter, a Sioux Falls native, was previously the economic development director of Robstown, Texas, among her other professional positions.

Lanna Teunissen of Sioux Falls is serving as campaign administrator.

Johnson spent most of the year recovering from a brain aneurysm but returned to work in the Senate just after Labor Day. He closed the third quarter of the year with more than $2 million in the bank, compared with just $37,000 for Dykstra.

— David M. Drucker