Meet Jeff Barth, State Chess Champion And South Dakota House Candidate

Jeff Barth has ridden an ostrich and he’s aiming for South Dakota’s House seat. Calls D.C. insiders “horse’s asses” in a kooky 5-minute ad.

Jeff Barth, the commissioner of Minnehaha County, is running in the Democratic primary to challenge Republican Kristi Noem for South Dakota’s at-large congressional House seat. In one of the more freewheeling campaign ads of this cycle, Barth walks toward the camera through a forest to the tune of fiddle music, passing a series of props (including a mannequin that represents Noem) and outlining his qualifications. They include:

- “My dad was a coach and a history teacher. He got a job with the CIA and became a diplomat for the U.S. government.” Countries lived in: Iceland, Germany, Belgium, and “even Lesotho.”

- “I lived in Germany before they built the Berlin Wall. I lived in Germany when they built the Berlin Wall.”

- “I learned chess in Iceland.” (He was also the state chess champion in 1993.)

- Barth bicycled through Great Britain, “afraid of nuclear war the whole time.”

- “I’ve ridden an ostrich. I’ve done a lot of stuff.”

- Barth notes that his daughters have straight teeth and husbands.


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Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.
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