South Dakota voters cast their ballots on November 6th for a new slate of leadership in Pierre. U.S. Representative Kristi Noem defeated State Senator Billie Sutton in a close governor’s race, becoming the first female governor for the state of South Dakota. Read for more results from Tuesday’s election, courtesy of KOTA Territory News and the South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office.
Republican U.S. Representative Kristi Noem was elected the first female governor of South Dakota over State Senator Billie Sutton by a narrow margin. Of 339,154 total votes cast, Noem earned 172,894 to Sutton’s 161,416, giving her a three-point lead in the close race. Libertarian candidate Kurt Evans earned 4,844 votes on Tuesday.
Noem’s running mate, Larry Rhoden, will serve as her Lieutenant Governor. Sutton’s running mate was Sioux Falls businesswoman Michelle Lavallee.
Republican and former Chief of Staff for Governor Dennis Daugaard Dusty Johnson won South Dakota’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives over Democrat Tim Bjorkman, Independent Ron Wieczorek, and Libertarian George D. Hendrickson. Johnson earned 60 percent of the 335,909 votes cast, while Bjorkman earned 36 percent, Wieczorek 2 percent, and Hendrickson 1 percent.
Secretary of State
Republican and current State Auditor Steve Barnett defeated Democrat Alexandra Frederick in the race for Secretary of State, 65 to 35 percent. Barnett will replace Republican Shantel Krebs, who made a bid for South Dakota’s Congressional seat, but was defeated in June’s primary elections by now Representative-elect Dusty Johnson.
Republican candidate and Yankton lawyer Jason Ravnsborg won the Attorney General’s seat against former U.S. Attorney Randy Seiler, who ran on the Democratic ticket. Ravnsborg won 55 percent of voters over Seiler’s 45 percent.
Republican Rich Sattgast was victorious in the race for South Dakota Auditor. Sattgast earned 64 percent of the 315,630 votes cast in that race, while his opponent, Democrat Tom Cool, earned 36 percent.
Republican Josh Haeder defeated Democrat Aaron Matson in the State Treasurer’s race, earning 62 percent of votes cast to Matson’s 38 percent.
Commissioner of School and Public Lands
Republican Ryan Brunner won the seat of South Dakota Commissioner of School and Public Lands over Democrat Woody Houser, 62 percent to 38 percent.
Public Utilities Commissioner
Republican Incumbent Kistie Fiegen was re-elected to serve another 6-year term on South Dakota’s Public Utilities Commission. She garnered 65 percent of voter support, while Wayne Frederick, on the Democratic ticket earned 35 percent.
Voters also cast their ballot for or against a series of statewide ballot questions, including State Supreme Court Retention, Initiated Measures 24 and 25, and Constitutional Amendments W, X, and Z.
Supreme Court Retention
South Dakota State Supreme Court Justice Janine M. Kern, who represents the First Supreme Court District, which includes Custer, Lawrence, Meade and Pennington counties was retained. Kern earned 83 percent of the vote and will serve on the State Supreme Court until her term expires in 2019.
Initiated Measure 24, which would prohibit “contributions to ballot question committees by non-residents, out-of-state political committees, and entities that are not filed with the secretary of state” passed with 56 percent of voter support.
Initiated Measure 25, which called for an increase in South Dakota’s tobacco tax in order to create “a postsecondary technical institute fund for the purposes of lowering student tuition and providing financial support to the state postsecondary technical institutes” failed, with 55 percent of voters voting against the measure.
Constitutional Amendment W, an initiated amendment that would change “campaign finance and lobbying laws, [create] a government accountability board, and [change] certain initiative and referendum provisions” failed, with 55 percent of voters opposing the amendment.
Amendment X, which would have increased the number of votes necessary to approve constitutional amendments to 55 percent (rather than a simple majority), failed, with 54 percent of voters opposing the amendment.
Constitutional Amendment Z, which requires that any proposed constitutional amendment have only one subject, passed, with 62 percent of voter support.
Find more information on 2018 elections in the Black Hills Knowledge Network news archive.