DALE ELSEN Marshall County Sheriff
SUSAN WISMER District 1 Senate
TAMARA ST. JOHN District 1 House
STEVEN MCCLEEREY District 1 House
Noem First Female Governor
South Dakota’s Republican U.S. representative turned governor candidate Kristi Noem turned back a challenge from Democrat Billie Sutton to become the state’s first elected female governor on Tuesday.
With 84 percent of the ballots counted as of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday Noem had received 52 percent of the vote to Sutton’s 47 percent. Libertarian candidate Kurt Evans received one percent of the vote.
Dusty Johnson kept the U.S. House seat in Republican hands with a convincing victory over Democrat Tim Bjorkman. Johnson had 61 percent of the vote to Bjorkman’s 36 percent. Independent Ron Wieczorek earned two percent and Libertarian George Hendrickson had one percent.
In a hotly-contested local race for Marshall County sheriff incumbent Dale Elsen rolled past challenger Cody Sunderland. Elsen received 1,632 votes (83%) to Sunderland’s 340 (17%).
Local voters also had a role in picking two of three candidates for the District 1 South Dakota House of Representatives spots.
With two precincts yet to report Republican newcomer Tamara St. John was the top vote-getter with 36 percent, incumbent Democrat Steve McCleerey received 33 percent, and former Democrat legislator Paul Dennert received 31 percent.
Britton native Democrat Susan Wismer was on the ballot but ran unopposed for the District 1 Senate seat.
Republicans swept the state-wide races with five incumbents being re-elected. The only race without an incumbent running was for attorney general with Marty Jackley term-limited.
Steve Barnett defeated Democrat Alexandra Frederick 66-34 percent. Jason Ravnsborg topped Democrat Randy Seiler 56-44 for attorney general. Rich Sattgast defeated Tom Cool for state auditor 65-35 percent, Josh Haeder defeated Aaron Matson 63-37 percent for state treasurer, Ryan Brunner was re-elected Commissioner of School and Public Lands over Woody Houser 63-37 percent, and Kristie Fiegen held onto her position as Public Utilities Commissioner over Wayne Frederick 66-34 percent.
Marshall County voters agreed with state results on all the state-wide races with the exception of governor and attorney general. Voters had to decide on five ballot issues and two of them were approved. Marshall County voters agreed with the state results in all five cases.
Gaining approval were Amendment Z that said a proposed constitutional amendment could embrace only one subject 62-38 percent; and Initiated Measure 24 that prohibits out-of-state money being given to ballot question committees 55-45 percent.
Voted down were Amendment X that increased the vote necessary to ratify a proposed constitutional amendment from a simple majority to 55 percent by a 55-45 percent vote; Amendment W that dealt with cleaning up finance, lobbying and government ethics and would have created a State Government Accountability Board was downed 55-45 percent; and Initiated Measure 25 that would have used a tax on cigarettes and tobacco products to fund the state’s four technical schools was defeated 56-44.
On the non-political ballot Supreme Court Justice Janine Kern was retained in office by an 84-16 percent vote.
Voter turnout in the county was a very good 71.7 percent with 1,999 of 2,788 registered voters going to the polls.