Information, observations, and analysis from the James River valley on the Northern Plains-----
E-Mail: Enter 'Beacon' in subject box. Send to: Minnekota@Referencedesk.org
Brown County Democrat Tyler Smith, who is a candidate for governor, will speak at the Brown County Democrats' Dollar-A-Month Club today.
Democrats meet at The Pizza Ranch from 11:30 to 1 p.m. The buffet is $8, $6 for seniors. People who just want to come and listen and ask questions are requested to donate $1 (or more, the treasurer says). The Club meets on Thursday this month instead of Friday to accommodate schedules.
Tyler was born in Rapid City, lived in Hermosa, and graduated from Rapid City Central High School in 1998. During his high school years, Tyler participated in sports and was an exchange student.
He began his political activities in 1995, when he was a telephone volunteer for Republican Carol Hillard's campaign for the U.S. House. He also volunteered for Tim Johnson's first run for the Senate and later worked as an intern in Sen. Johnson's Rapid City office.
Coming from a family with a strong history of military service, Tyler joined the South Dakota National Guard and joined the 109th Engineer Group based in Rapid City.
During the heavy forest fires of 2000, Tyler volunteered to transport fire fighting crews from the Department of Corrections, as well as the elite fire fighters known as Hotshots.
He attended the South Dakota School of Mines and Black Hills State University. In November 2000, Tyler visited the campus of Northern State University and decided to move to Aberdeen to pursue a degree in history. In 2001, he met his future wife Katie Floro of Wilmot, who has been active in many campaigns in Brown County.
In 2002, Tyler was a Brown County delegate to the State Democratic Convention, and decided to get even more involved in politics.
In November 2003, Tyler's National Guard unit was activated for duty in Afghanistan. He and Katie decided to marry in December before he was deployed overseas. The unit began training at Ft. Carson, Colo., in April 2004 and embarked for Afghanistan in May. It returned a year later. Tyler was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Action Badge for his service.
Tyler is a full-time student at NSU and works as a cashier in a convenience store.