Jim Abdnor on speaking, dancing and working

Jim Abdnor had almost slipped into the history books when he died Wednesday.

The former legislator, lieutenant governor, congressman and senator was 89 when he died at a hospice in Sioux Falls Wednesday. He had last served in elective office in January 1987, so an entire generation had grown up not knowing him on the public stage.

They missed a unique figure who rose to prominence and power due to a skill with people, and a desire to achieve. Abdnor was a short, unremarkable looking man who was afflicted with a speech impediment, but he became a U.S. senator despite that minor flaw.

In 1986, then-Gov. Bill Janklow challenged Abdnor in the Republican primary. Janklow, who died earlier this year, said Abdnor didn’t have the speaking skills to serve in the Senate and to take on Tom Daschle.

This was Abdnor’s response:


And he went on to defeat Janklow in the primary, too. it was the only loss of Wild Bill’s colorful career, and the final victory for Jim Abdnor, who lost to Daschle that fall.

4 thoughts on “Jim Abdnor on speaking, dancing and working

  1. remember the senate race with McGovern?? NPAC came into the race- National Political Action Committee- to distort and tell lies about McGovern. Jim could have stopped this and he didn’t- I felt he was very unkind to McGovern and ran one of the slimiest campaigns in South Dakota history. When Daschle appeared on the scene I was more than glad to volunteer to rid South Dakota of Jim Abnor.You’re next John Thune- nothing but an opportunist !!!!!!

  2. Tara Volesky’s vehicle has license plates indicating it is registered in Beadle County. Where dos her vehicle registration say she is from?

Comments are closed.