Get to know the candidates in the upcoming Primary on June 7

HOT SPRINGS – On Tuesday, June 7, area voters will go to the polls for the Primary Election to cast their selections for a number of city, county, state and national races.

Over the next four weeks, the Fall River County Herald-Star will provide profiles of the various candidates on the ballot while featuring a different set of races each week. This week, we will be featuring a total of six candidates for three different races, including District 30 Senate, Hot Springs Mayor and Hot Springs Ward 1 City Council. There will not be an election for Wards 2, 3 or 4 as there were only one candidate submitting a petition for each, including Bill Lukens (Ward 2), Johnny “JR” Huddleston (Ward 3) and Melanie Wilson (Ward 4).

In upcoming weeks, we will focus on District 30 House of Represenatives (May 12 edition), Hot Springs and Oelrichs School Board (May 19 edition) and then U.S. Senate, U.S. House and South Dakota Governor (May 26 edition).

None of the primary Fall River County seats will be on the Primary Election Ballot, due to there not being enough candidates to warrant an election. Moving on to the November General Election Ballot, where they could face yet-to-be-named Independent Candidates, will be Republicans Sue Ganje (Auditor), Lyle Norton (Sheriff), Mel Engebretson (Register of Deeds), Liz Rakness Allen (Coroner) and At-Large County Commissioners Joe Falkenburg and Deb Russell.

For the following candidate Q&A printed below for District 30 Senate and the City of Hot Springs positions, each individual will tell a little about themselves, and also answer these questions:

1) What special skills, talents or experience do you bring to the District 30 Senate (or) Hot Springs Mayor Seat (or) Hot Springs City Council, if elected or re-elected?

2) What are the top two issues that most concern you regarding the District 30 (or)City of Hot Springs and its residents, and how do you plan to address them, if elected or re-elected?

Following are their responses, beginning with the District 30 Senate Race.




Julie Frye-Mueller

Age: 59

Current Occupation: Family Retail Business

Years a resident of District 30: 22

Your contact information: 605-391-1663 (cell phone)

I have lived in Rapid City for 47 years.  I graduated from Stevens High School in 1981 and at that time my twin sister and I were professional country western singers.  At 17 years old we recorded our music at Roy Orbison’s studio in Colorado.  I met my husband to be when I was 19 and we have been married for over 38 years. We have two married daughters and five wonderful grandchildren.  I have worked at our family business for over 33 years.  I attend many public meetings to help as many people as I can.  Also, my husband and I are part of a group that works to help educate citizens and get them to be more proactive in our government.

1) I have been blessed to serve the citizens for the last six years in the legislature.  I served four years in the House of Representatives and two years in the Senate.  The committees I have served on are Education, Transportation, Health and Human Services, Local Government and Ag and Natural Resources.  Because of my experience I was able to assist the citizens in stopping the Custer State Park Campground Expansion.  Letting the Director of SD Campground Owners Association and the members involved know what to expect and how we needed to handle what comes up in committee meetings.  Even though session is over the Gun Range is still a serious issue for Meade County residents and I am continuing working with them as this is another “State versus Private Sector” issue. I have the ability to work with many different people and try to make a positive difference for “We the People”.

2) 2) I have way more than two issues that concern me for all of us in South Dakota. That being said we are all concerned about property taxes.  I sponsored and co-sponsored bills to help the citizens such as SB115 from the 2021 session. Pretty sad when our government tells us we are only allowed our home and a garage as owner occupied and anything else we can’t consider and must pay more for a separate shop to store our tools or equipment in to take care of our properties.  I am not giving up on this unfair taxing.  Food security is serious for our state and country.  The four major meat packers are owned by foreign countries!  We are Americans and should be in control of our food production.  I could find at least a dozen food production plants that have burned down in the last 6 months. I don’t believe in coincidence.  “ON THE PLAINS” segment today on 1380 AM radio stated that over 30 million poultry have been killed due to “bird flu” issues. We need to protect our number one industry in South Dakota-Agriculture. 


Timothy R. Goodwin

Age: 66

Years a resident of District 30: 17

Contact info:  Tim Goodwin, 12873 J Pine Road, Rapid City, SD 57702

Ph 605-390-5324, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Raised on farm south of Watertown, SD. Was in 4H club (Pelican Boys)  and Future Farmers of America (FFA) President of both clubs.  I was too tall to play basketball so I Wrestled instead. After Graduation from Watertown, I enlisted in U.S. Army to be a Paratrooper with the famous 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, NC.  Ended up staying for a career in the Army retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel after 24years of service to our great country. Retired at age of 41. After retirement I went into Business and was Sales Manager for one National Home Improvement Company and a couple local Home Improvement Companies. Retired from there at age of 60.  

1) Ran for District 30 Representative. Was elected in November of 2016.  Served first two years on Taxation and Transportation Committees.  Served last 4 years on State Affairs, Ag and Natural Resources and Military and Veteran Affairs Committees..  Also in Leadership as a Majority Whip the last 4 years in the House of Representatives. Married to my Wife, Marcia who accompanies to session each year.  Marcia is also President of the Capitol Club which is the Spouses organization in Pierre. Hobbies include hunting and fishing and spending time with our 17 Grandchildren! There is something special about taking your Grand kids fishing and hunting. I am a avid Mountain Lion Hunter on foot only, no dogs, and was instrumental in getting Lion season started in 2005.

2) The first issue is Water but that is being taken care of as we passed 690 million to bring water from the Missouri River to the black hills via a 6-foot pipe. Its cost is over 1.2 Billion and we plan on getting the remainder next session. I am working on the water to arrive in Hermosa or Buffalo Gap, both in our district, resulting in many jobs, as Water will be straight out of the Missouri River so will need filtration plants to make it drinkable. The 2nd is Property Taxes. I have volunteered to be on Summer Study to work and draft Legislation regarding skyrocketing property taxes. I also was on Hemp Summer Study, Work Force Housing Summer Study and Marijuana Summer Study both Rec and Medicinal.All brought forward Legislation to passage from the summer study committees I was on. The 3rd is Save the VA AGAIN!! District 30 is the Veterans district and I am the only Retired military member out of the 105 in the House and Senate, Yep, just me. To my knowledge none of the candidates for House or Senate in D30 are Military Veterans so I bring a special experience and need to this arena. 4th is Work Force Housing. We are always going to have a worker shortage until we fix the shortage in workforce housing.




Robert Nelson

Age: 68

Current Occupation: Mayor, City of Hot Springs

Years a resident of Hot Springs: 54

Contact info: 405 Albany Avenue, Hot Springs, SD. 57747; phone: 605.745.5031

I was born in Hot Springs but grew up in Igloo until 1966. When my dad passed away in 1968 mom and I returned to Hot Springs. I joined the Navy in 1971 and served for 4 years. After my discharge I went to work at the VA and retired in 2011 after 36 years of serving Americas Veterans. My wife, Aletha, and I have been married for 52 years. We have 3 children, 7 grand children and 2 great grand children. When not serving as mayor Aletha and I spend as much time as we can with our family.

1) I served as a Ward 4 Council member for 4 years prior to serving as Mayor for the last 2 years. I consider myself to be a good listener and recognize and respect the importance of differing opinions. I have never given an answer or made a decision based on the likely hood it would influence my electability. I’ve advocated for positions that were not popular with some voters, but believe those positions were in the best interests of the City of Hot Springs.

2) First is the Highway 385 road reconstruction project, the suspended sidewalk, and the North Fall River reclamation. These are 3 interconnected pieces, that can be the beginning of the revitalization of downtown Hot Springs. The road reconstruction will do a better job of moving traffic through town. The sidewalk will be something unique I believe people will travel too Hot Springs to see, while increasing traffic safety along North River Street. The North River revitalization will create an area of the river that will attract people to interact with the warm waters. Second is the Housing shortage. Hot Springs has a housing problem that needs addressed. As a City, we can’t build the homes but we must find ways to partner with the builders and developers that can. With enhanced growth comes additional tax revenue that will allow the City to expand the services we provide to taxpayers. Hot Springs has always been a special community, but we have the opportunity to grow, in the right ways, while maintaining our uniqueness. We must embrace those opportunities.


Randy “Uriah” Luallin 

Age: 64

Current occupation: Mason

Years a resident of Hot Springs: 7 

Contact info: email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I proudly served 10 years in the U.S. Army, Infantry, honorably discharged as Sergeant First Class, instructor for NCOES leadership.  I have made my living as a mason, 42 years and counting. These experiences make me ideally suited for the executive branch of government.

I am active in our community as husband, father, author, historian, mentor, and organizational leader. I serve as Treasurer for the following: the American Legion Post 71; the Save our Sandstone 501c3 non-profit group; and recently with the Hot Springs Historical Society “Pioneer Museum”.

I volunteer as Honor Guard commander, trail steward with the Kit Carson Club, and keep dutifully involved with various other pursuits involving the appreciation of a life spent outdoors and serving the community.

1) Recent actions taken by our current city administration have forced me to take pause---look at the bigger picture regarding the scope of their acting authority and the candor in which they serve our community.

I am running for mayor of Hot Springs to: execute the will of all of its people, not for just the privileged few; guide our city leaders to act within their rightful legal authority limited by State of South Dakota and City of Hot Springs codified law; and remain humble, curious, and well-informed in the act of representing the people’s voice to influence positive action.

I represent truth in deeds and intentions, not in rhetoric and semantics.

2) I ask the citizens of Hot Springs to question your leader’s actions regarding the matters of: The legal validity of the City Administrator role at City Hall; A direct violation of South Dakota Revised Statute 9-10-1, which never happened. The overly destructive and costly management of both the Wesch Oak Building and Fall River Restoration projects; and the funding obligations our city government keeps with non government entities.  The City should be focused on good roads, Water and Sewer service, Police and Fire protection, and the management of the public lands.  

I also ask for more public discourse, discussion and joint decision making. I invite Mayor Bob Nelson to debate and discuss these matters.

More details can be found at  Please use your vote to join me in requiring proper government at the City level.  “Truth for a Change.”




Larry Pratt

Age: 56

Current occupation: Prairie Hills Transit Driver

Years a resident of Hot Springs: 20

Contact information: 605-891-4420.

I am full blood Native American of the Cheyenne Nation.  I graduated from Lone Grove, Oklahoma.  After high school, I served in the Army for 3 years. I have been blessed with 4 grown children: ages 21 to 38 with families of their own. I was married to my wife Paula, for 14 years. She past away from breast cancer almost 7 years ago.  I enjoy teaching martial arts, being an actor, and serving on the Southern Hills Community Theatre board as president, attending and reporting to City Council for the Custer Fall River Waste Management meeting, and chair the Hot Springs Parks and Rec Committee.

1) I currently represent Ward 1 on the Hot Springs City Council.  This has been a wonderful and rewarding experience that I have thoroughly enjoyed.  As a driver for Prairie Hills Transit, I have the opportunity to interact with the public on a daily basis while observing, listening, and learning what is happening in our community. Passengers and businesses people often visit and share their opinions and concerns regarding Hot Springs, allowing me the opportunity to bring their concerns and input to the Council.  As a Council member, I have learned a great deal about City ordinances and State law.  I’ve been a part of rewriting some City ordinances to better meet the needs of Hot Springs and its residents.

2) Two issues that are particularly important to me regarding the City of Hot Springs are the handicap needs and cross walks.  The handicap and special needs in our community are often overlooked with the challenges they face.  Problem-solving and addressing the means to allow them to enjoy our parks and establishments should be a part of our community.  I am in favor of handicap shelters with charging stations and handicap drop off zones for electric scooters.  Crosswalks are another issue that I see on a daily basis.  Community awareness is the first step.  Working together, I do believe this will be accomplished. I am running for a second term on June 7, 2022. Hope to see you there!


David Teachout

Age: 42

Current Occupation: Mental Health Therapist and Coach

Years a resident of Hot Springs: 1

Contact information: 253-258-1246

I’m the oldest son of a father who grew up on a farm and a mother who stayed at home to raise her kids. Growing up with family and the open countryside of Michigan instilled an appreciation for small-town values. I enjoy conversation that explores all the ways we find meaning and purpose. To relax, I like getting out in nature for photography and getting my hands dirty with home projects. I moved here with my wife, Christine, of 9 years and our dog, bought a house, and enjoy being involved wherever I can in our community.

1) Clear and honest communication, and the ability to facilitate dialogue that builds a community, are what I bring to the City Council. I’ve worked in the mental health field for 15 years, earning two master’s degrees in forensic and counseling psychology. I’ve served everyone from veterans, foster children, adults, people in prison, and the elderly.  I’ve learned to build teams by listening to people of different backgrounds, figuring out how to meet their needs, and doing so with an understanding of organizational and community limits. By knowing how we come together as families and individuals, we can expand our community to address our evolving needs.

2) The issues I want to bring attention to are business growth and the environment. Business is often how families and individuals contribute to the growth of a community, whether by running one or supporting one through being a customer. Having a City Council that creates the space for businesses to flourish means consistently applying rules, having clear laws, and working with a fully independent Chamber of Commerce that is supported by its business members. 

The environment, which includes but is not limited to Fall River, is where we make our homes and live our lives. It is the space where we raise our families and do business. This includes having well-maintained parks and natural spaces for gathering together and serves as an invitation for people to come to our city. With so many needs and perspectives on how to meet them, we need community groups to generate new ideas and ways to address concerns, as well as have clear and ongoing communication as to any changes being made.

Fall River County Herald Star

EDGEMONT OFFICE: 410 2nd Avenue   Edgemont, SD 57735-0660 | 605.662.7201
HOT SPRINGS OFFICE: 334 S. Chicago St.  Hot Springs, SD 57747 | 605.745.3930
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