South Dakota Focus: Democratic Congressional Candidates

SD Focus - 05/24/2012



Join SDPB's South Dakota Focus on May 24, 2012 as we introduce you to the two individuals hoping to be South Dakota's next Democratic Congressional Candidate. Matt Varilek and Jeff Barth will sit down with host Stephanie Rissler to talk about why they are running and what issues are important to each of them. The program airs live at 8pm CT / 7pm MT or online at Plus you can call in with your own questions and comments to 1.877.825.5788 / or send your thoughts to our email account

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Jeff Barth:

Jeff Barth

Minnehaha County Commissioner

PO Box 1732

Sioux Falls, SD 57101

Tel. 605-371-0154


Who is Jeff?

Jeffrey Edward Barth

60 Years Old (61 in October)

Married (Sherrie)

Two Daughters, both married, 4 grandchildren

Retired from Qwest (Northwestern Bell, US WEST, Quest) after 31 years working both as a member of the Union and a manager

Currently a Minnehaha County Commissioner

Father was a diplomat. Grew up in Europe (Iceland, Germany and Belgium), Africa (The Republic of South Africa during Apartheid) and in the Washington DC Area.

Served in the US Army Reserve 1976-1982

Attended 5 grade schools and 5 high schools and then went to Luther College in Decorah Iowa. Additional studies at Sioux Falls University, Augustana and Colorado Tech.

A Minnehaha County resident since 1984.

Matt Varilek

More contact information:

Matt for South Dakota
PO Box 1266
Sioux Falls, SD 57101-1266

Meet Matt: Matt Varilek is a fourth-generation South Dakotan. He was born in Yankton, and has deep roots in the Czech-American farming communities of rural Yankton and Bon Homme Counties. Matt attended his first "Czech Days" celebration in Tabor, South Dakota when he was just one month old, and he hasn't missed many Czech Days since.

For nearly seven years, Matt served as the Economic Development Director for U.S. Senator Tim Johnson, assisting the Senator's efforts to boost job creation by partnering with small businesses and community leaders across South Dakota. Working together with members of both major political parties, Matt contributed to the creation and retention of jobs in every corner of our state. He helped with successful efforts to expand industrial parks, build business incubators and scientific research facilities, and upgrade water and wastewater infrastructure, among other things. Matt also worked for U.S. Senator Tom Daschle in a similar capacity.

Prior to his public service, Matt added to his private sector experience by spending four years as a market analyst at an energy commodities brokerage. Matt has also served as a teaching assistant, and he worked his way through high school and college, earning money as a hired hand for local farmers, and as a security guard, dish washer, paper boy, and burger flipper, just to name a few.

Matt graduated from Yankton High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Carleton College in Minnesota. He also earned two master's degrees related to economics - the first from the University of Glasgow in Scotland and the second from the University of Cambridge in England.

Matt and his wife, Maggie, reside in Sioux Falls with their two adorable daughters, Willa (3) and Mae (1).




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South DAkota Focus: Dem Congressional candidates
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