District 1 House candidate Logan Manhart candidacy questioned

PIERRE, S.D.(Argus Leader)- A Republican legislative candidate could be pulled from the ballot amid allegations that he’s in violation of South Dakota residency requirements.

Logan Manhart is among four candidates for state House in District 1.

However, a complaint filed with the Hughes County Court this week contends that the Bath man has not lived in South Dakota for the two years that the state Constitution requires before someone is eligible to serve in the state Legislature.

It alleges that Manhart, 23, participated in Wisconsin elections as recently as April of 2021.

The plaintiff in the case is Steve McCleerey, a former lawmaker who’s among two Democratic candidates in the District 1 contest.

Manhart did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

McCleerey, a former assistant minority leader who served in the House from 2015 to 2020, told the Argus Leader that while Manhart is originally from South Dakota, evidence suggests he only recently moved back to the state from Wisconsin.

“I think I would have beat him anyway, but that’s not the point,” said the Sisseton-area farmer. “The main thing is, if we’re going to follow rules, he has to just like I would have to. It’s plain and simple.”

A query of a state-run Wisconsin voter registration information website Monday showed Manhart’s voter registration in not active in the Badger State, however, he had been registered in Eau Claire.

However, documents pulled from the same database that are included in McCleerey’s legal filing appear to show Manhart was active as recently as May 11, with Wisconsin voter records also showing he participated in multiple elections there between February 2020 and April 6, 2021.

Both men, as well as the two other candidates in the race, hope to capture one of two District 1 House seats up for grabs in this year’s election. Those spots right now belong to Reps. Tamara St. Johns, R-Sisseton, and Jennifer Keintz, D-Eden.

If Manhart is pulled from the ballot, the Democrats would obtain at least one of the two open seats.