EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the last in a series of profiles on the three Republican candidates for the Yankton County Commission. The primary election will be held June 2.
NAME: Ward Youngblom
FAMILY: Wife Beth, Sons Wade, Wyatt, William
EDUCATION/OCCUPATION: SDSU, Senior Sales Executive for Cargill
ANY OTHER GOVERNMENTAL/ORGANIZATIONAL EXPERIENCE: South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership Alumni
• Why are you running?
I would like to be a common sense voice for the entire county and bring the people of the county together to promote growth and a healthy environment.
• Going forward in the coming year, the county will be recovering from dual disasters — the 2019 floods and 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. What do you feel needs to be done for recovery and how do you prioritize the needs of each recovery?
We won’t know the true cost and damage from COVID 19 for some time but we do know our residents and small businesses are in need of support now and we will have to adapt and overcome as the needs arise. As far as the floods I don’t feel it’s an overnight fix and we will need to follow the recommendations of our county employees to keep chipping away until we can fully recover.
• Large swathes of the county have actively explored the prospect of seceding from Yankton County due in part to a perceived feeling of being ignored by the commission. What would you tell these people and how will you be a representative of the entire county and not just some of the county?
I would tell them they are an intricate part of our county and community and they have a right to be upset but would encourage them to give the commission a chance to make a change for the better.
• With little additional aid anticipated from the state and federal levels for roads, how would you go about tackling the issues with the county’s roads?
We are going to have to get creative for a while and create additional revenue by reallocating some funds and considering some avenues to create new sources.
• Additional thoughts?
We moved to Yankton a couple years ago because we fell in love with everything the county had to offer, agriculture, the lake area and a great city. I decided to run to help bring these sectors together and make each one of them stronger together.