George Hendrickson Enters U.S. House Race
"I'm the only one who is not a politician"
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A Sioux Falls man, who doesn’t consider himself a politician, is the newest candidate to announce his bid for South Dakota’s lone U.S. House seat. George Hendrickson is the only candidate running as an independent, so far. He knows it won’t be easy, but says he and his family are already overcoming great odds.
“If he can fight that hard and he can do it, then we can fight that hard too,” says Hendrickson.
For Hendrickson, motivation to run for a federal elected position began with his 4-year-old son, Eli.
“I’m watching him on a children’s play-set, he’s climbing it because he can’t walk, he’s in a wheelchair, and he’s struggling to climb this thing on his feet,” explains Hendrickson.
Eli has a rare form of epilepsy.
“He could die any day, a seizure could take him any day,” he says. “We know that.”
The new candidate says cannabis oil could help bring down the number of seizures his son has, but it’s not allowed in the state. For years he’s been lobbying in Pierre.
“We kept hearing the same problem: the feds have to move first before we can do anything, the feds have to move,” says Hendrickson. “So let’s go move the feds.”
If elected, Hendrickson will fight to deregulate cannabis on a federal level, and instead let the individual state’s make the decisions.
“I firmly believe that there’s a lot of federal overreach that needs to be reeled back in,” he says. “We need to consolidate a lot of bureaucracy’s.”
But medical marijuana isn’t the only issue he’s passionate about.
“Continuity of governance is huge and I think a lot of people are feeling that, that they aren’t equal,” says Hendrickson. “The laws aren’t being applied equally there.”
And just like his son in a video he captured, Hendrickson is going to give the race his all.
“He’s holding on for dear life with his hands, and you just watch his feet and his leg shake as he tries to move them and get that firm fitting, and my gosh he does it,” says Hendrickson. “If doing this helps him and others along the way, then every inch of this pounding road will have been worth it.”
Hendrickson is a former police officer. He says learning to research and look for answers will help him represent the nation. He will join republicans Shantel Krebs and Dusty Johnson, and democrats Tim Bjorkman and Chris Martian in the race.
Representative Kristi Noem will not seek re-election to the U.S. House in 2018. Instead, Noem says she will run for governor of South Dakota.