Jason Salamun announces candidacy for mayor of Rapid City


RAPID CITY, S.D. — On Wednesday, City Councilman Jason Salamun announced his candidacy for Rapid City mayor in the upcoming 2023 election.

“As your next mayor, my aim is to keep what makes Rapid City special while making the most of the opportunities ahead. I have no higher priority than the safety and security of the residents of Rapid City. If we aren’t a safe place to raise a family, we will lose what makes us special,” Salamun said. “The next decade and beyond will be transformative for the Rapid City region. The arrival of the B-21 mission and other efforts will bring significant growth to our community. The question is whether or not it will be smart and healthy growth. This is why we must prioritize safer neighborhoods, promote a strong and resilient economy and work together to build a brighter future for the next generation.”

Salamun currently serves on the Rapid City Common Council representing Ward 3, and he served as City Council President from 2017-2018.

Ward 5 Council member Laura Armstrong and former Ward 1 Council member Ron Weifenbach have each previously announced their candidacies for the Mayor’s Office.

Photos from his announcement:


Salamun says that he’s not running for himself, that he’s running for the residents of Rapid City. His focus is also on the community and keeping the community as a:

  • Safe place to raise a family
  • a place to pursue your potential
  • a place to build a brighter future for the next generation

He says his top issue is public safety in the community and it’s a top issue that people are concerned and asking about.

“There’s a lot of work to do. That’s not because our police department’s doing their job. In fact, they’re doing their job very well,” Salamun said. “But we’re down 30 police officers. We let people out of parole time and time again. We need more accountability. We need to do a better job at recruiting and retaining great police officers in out community, because all the plans we have to make this as great a place possible, it doesn’t mean anything is we aren’t safe. There is no higher priority than the safety and security of the residents of Rapid City.”

There are three things Salamun says is needed for public safety:

  1. Commit to enforcing the law
  2. Supporting our police officers
  3. Increasing accountability

What sets him apart from other candidates

“What sets me apart, what I thought about was, ‘am I supposed to do this?'” Salamun said. “So all along in this decision making process, I’ve said, ‘don’t worry about what everybody else does or says. Do what you’re supposed to do.’ So really, I think for me is I have strong roots here. I believe that my background in the United States Air Force, my background as a business executive, as a vice president at Black Hills Federal for quite a while, my ministry background, the fact that I raised my family here and six years on the city council, including council president, all of those experiences combined, I believe is what eclipsed me for the role.”

Growth in the area

The area is growing for a number of reasons and it’s growing quickly, as many people are aware of.

There is expansion with the B-21, economic development efforts and a migration surge from other states.

“So the question is, ‘will we work to get out in front of that or just let if happen, just be random?'” Salamun said. “I don’t think we should be random. What I think that means is that Rapid City has to do a better job of partnering with neighborhood communities within our community, as well as neighboring communities outside of our city. So that means Pennington County, Meade County. It means Box Elder. It means Spearfish, Sturgis, Hill City, the surrounding area. It think we need to work together to plan better. There’s some good efforts happening right now, if I’m elected, I will continues those efforts.”

Native American Relations

Another area of work that Salamun feels needs to be done is building relationships with the Native American population.

“I think Rapid City is a special place where we treat everybody with respect and so I think it’s really beyond just our race and differences. I think it’s about, ‘do you respect me and do I respect you? And we can live in harmony together,'” Salamun said. “There’s work to be done, building relationships, I think, is where it begins. With the mayor, for sure, but it’s all of us. I think we need to make sure that we send a signal that Rapid City is a place where we believe that every person has value worth of potential because they do, regardless of what they look like or where they come from. You know, so it’s about building relationships. I think I can do a better job of building those relationships moving forward with Native American leaders and those in the community. They’re a big part of what makes this community special.”

How did it feel seeing the crowd that came out

“Within a matter of days, I just sent out some texts and Facebook messages and a lot of folks couldn’t make it for work, and real reasons. I get it. But it was overwhelming,” Salamun said. “I think you know the success of a campaign by the enthusiasm it generates. These are friends I played with on the streets. These are coworkers I’ve had in my jobs. These are family members, people I worship with. This isn’t just the last six years on city council. This is a lifetime of support. You don’t get this overnight. You get this by living a life with the community and that community showing up to help you so that you in turn can help them. That’s the way it is. That’s what I love about Rapid City. That’s what makes it special. That’s what we need to do is keep this a special place.”

Categories: Local News, Politics & Elections