Raising a glass — and some money

Raising a toast is also a way to raise some cash.

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin will have birthday cocktails with friends this weekend in Sioux Falls and Rapid City.

Herseth Sandlin, who turned 40 Friday, isn’t just celebrating her birthday. The parties are planned to celebrate her six and a half years in Congress and to help pay off her campaign debt.

Guests are asked to make a “suggested contribution: $100 – $250 – $1000” at the parties. Herseth Sandlin raised and spent more than $2.1 million in her losing race against Rep.-elect Kristi Noem, R-S.D., and independent candidate B. Thomas Marking. According to documents filed this week, Herseth Sandlin has $35,000 debt after the campaign.

Noem, who also raised about $2.1 million, has no debt.

The first Herseth Sandlin party will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. today at The Carpenter Hotel in Sioux Falls. The second is set for 2:30-4 p.m. Sunday at the home of Judy and Bill Duhamel of Rapid City. Judy Duhamel has long been involved with Democratic Party politics in Pennington County and in the state.

To attend, RSVP to Erin at erin@stephanieforsouthdakota.org. People are being asked to make checks payable to Stephanie for South Dakota.