George Hendrickson: From Advocate to Candidate
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- George Hendrickson spent years appealing to the South Dakota State Legislature. After feeling like his concerns weren’t being heard, he decided to run for U.S. House and be the voice for South Dakota.
Hendrickson has worn many hats. He was a police officer, owned his own construction business and was an insurance agent. Now he owns his own maintenance business and is a father.
“I’m 47-years-old, I was not looking for a career change. I love who I am and what I do, but it was a necessary thing to do at this time,” said Hendrickson.
One of the most important things to Hendrickson is his family. He has three kids: two daughters and a son. His youngest child, Eliyah, has Dravet Syndrome, which causes him to have seizures.
“It started with advocating for medical cannabis in this state because my son got to the point where there wasn’t any pharmacology that was helping him.”
Although that was the start of his journey to Congress and is an important issue to him, this Libertarian wants people to know he’s not a one issue candidate.
“That was kind of the the funny thing everybody thought thought, ‘oh he’s the cannabis candidate.’ No, actually I’m the tax reform candidate, I am the veterans administrations partner candidate, I am the bureaucracy reduction candidate,” said Hendrickson.
One of his tops issues is pushing for “citizen-led” legislatures.
“We’ve had this habit in this state that we keep sending the same type of people to Washington. We send career politicians, bureaucrats and lawyers. It’s our favorite things to send to Washington.”
He says instead it’s time to send an advocate like himself.
“You know somebody who is listening to the people, understanding what the people want and what they need and what the needs of the people are and really trying to find a pragmatic way of making that happen,” said Hendrickson.
Being a third party candidate hasn’t been easy as he says he’s had to prove to others he’s a serious candidate. However, he hopes to make history by being the first Libertarian Congressman from South Dakota.
“If they send me to Washington, we will not only have shown it can be done without spending a million dollars, we’ll have shown that you don’t have to be somebody from the elite political rounds.”
Hendrickson says another priority is welfare reform, especially when it comes to healthcare coverage. He knows the emotional and financial toll of having a sick child and wants to bridge the gap between relying on welfare and being able to afford insurance. Hendrickson is running against Republican Dusty Johnson, Democrat Tim Bjorkman and Independent candidate Ron Wieczorek.