|South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner|
|January 8, 2011 - Present|
|Years in position||4|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 6, 2012|
|Next general||November 8, 2016|
|Appointed by||Gov. Dennis Daugaard|
|South Dakota Secretary of State|
|2002 - 2011|
|High school||White Lake High School|
|Bachelor's||South Dakota State University (1987)|
|Date of birth||August 18, 1964|
|Place of birth||Mitchell, South Dakota|
Prior to his appointment to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission in 2011, Nelson served as Secretary of State from 2002 to 2010. Before that, Nelson was state election supervisor in the Secretary of State's office for 13 years and uniform commercial code supervisor in the same office for two years.
Nelson has also served in the following roles:
- Member, National Governors Association
- Representative, National Governors Association, United States Election Assistance Commission Board of Advisors, 2005.
- White Lake High School
- B.S., Animal science, South Dakota State University (1978)
Public Service Commission (2011-Present)
Nelson was appointed to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission by Gov. Dennis Daugaard on January 8, 2011 to fill a vacancy left when Dusty Johnson left the commission to become Daugaard's chief of staff. He was named chairman of the commission in January 2012.
Secretary of State (2002-2010)
Nelson is a former Republican South Dakota Secretary of State, first elected to the statewide position in 2002 and subsequently re-elected to the office in 2006. He had announced in October 2009 that he would be challenging State Representatives Kristi Lynn Noem and Blake Curd for the Republican nomination in the race for the 2010 United States House of Representatives seat. He failed to receive the party nomination after placing second in the primary contest, garnering nearly thirty-five percent of the vote. Prior to being elected to the office of Secretary of State in 2002, Chris Nelson held the position of Uniform Commercial Code Supervisor for two years beginning in 1987 and State Election Supervisor from 1989-2002. Both roles fell under the supervision of the South Dakota Secretary of State.
Nelson announced on February 17 that he would seek election to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission in 2012. While terms on the commission are for six years, Nelson was appointed in January 2011 and state election law requires election be held for the remaining four years of the term. He was officially nominated at the state Republican convention in June.
|South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Seat 1 General Election, 2012|
|Republican||Chris Nelson Incumbent||67%||226,508|
|Election Results via South Dakota Secretary of State.|
|2010 Race for United States House of Representatives - Republican Primary|
|Republican Party||Kristi Lynn Noem||56.2%|
|Republican Party||Chris Nelson||34.6%|
|Republican Party||Richard Blake Curd||23.3%|
- 2006 Race for Secretary of State - Republican Primary and General Election
- Chris Nelson ran unopposed in both contests, the first time this has occurred in the state's history.
|South Dakota Secretary of State, 2006|
|Republican||Chris Nelson Incumbent||100%||217,518|
|Election Results via South Dakota Secretary of State|
- 2002 Race for Secretary of State - Republican Primary
- Chris Nelson ran unopposed in this contest
On November 5, 2002, Chris Nelson won election to the office of South Dakota Secretary of State. He defeated Kate Looby (D) and Alex Martin (L) in the general election.
|South Dakota Secretary of State, 2002|
|Election Results Via: South Dakota Secretary of State|
Comprehensive donor information for Nelson is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Nelson raised a total of $271,653 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 10, 2013.
Nelson won re-election to the position of South Dakota Public Utility Commissioner in 2012. During that election cycle, Nelson raised a total of $45,899.
|South Dakota Public Utility Commissioner 2012 election - Campaign Contributions|
|Top contributors to Chris Nelson's campaign in 2012|
|South Dakota Telecommunications Association||$1,000|
|South Dakota Cable Television Association||$500|
|Total Raised in 2012||$45,899|
|Total Votes received in 2012||226,508|
|Cost of each vote received||$0.2|
|Source:Follow the Money|
Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Chris Nelson's donors each year. Click [show] for more information.
|Chris Nelson's Campaign Contributions|
South Dakota Secretary of State
South Dakota Secretary of State
|Total Raised by General Election Opponents||n/a||$147,859|
|Top 5 contributors||South Dakota Republican Party||$7,310||South Dakota Republican Party||$48,269|
|Paul & Kim Knecht||$1,000||Chris Nelson||$22,884|
|John & Michelle Nagel||$1,000||Tom Huber||$2,000|
|South Dakota Beer Wholesale Association||$600||Sara Huber||$1,500|
|Second Century Political Action and 2 individual donors||$500 each||Second Century PAC, Northwestern Energy,|
Hughes County Republicans and 7 individual donors
Chris Nelson currently resides with his wife, Penny, and his daughter, Rebekah, in Pierre, South Dakota. He also maintains a part-time cattle operation.
- Excellence in South Dakota Municipal Government Award (2003)
- Hazeltine and Taylor Award (2004)
- Election Center’s Professional Practices Program State Award (2009)
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Chris + Nelson + South + Dakota"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Official campaign website
- South Dakota Public Utilities Commission
- Chris Nelson for Congress Facebook profile
- Chris Nelson's Twitter Account
- Project Vote Smart - Chris Nelson biography
- Chris Nelson on LinkedIn
- Campaign donors: 2012, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2002
- South Dakota Secretary of State, "Statewide races-Election Results," accessed November 7, 2012
- Nelson for Public Utilities Commission, " About Chris," accessed March 7, 2013
- Brandon Info, "Chris Nelson appointed to South Dakota Public Utilities Commission," January 11, 2011
- Rapid City Journal, "Chairman of South Dakota Public Utilities Commission elected," January 5, 2012
- South Dakota War College, "BREAKING NEWS: And then there were three! Chris Nelson jumps in the Congressional Race" 2 October, 2009
- Brandon Info, "Nelson seeks re-election to PUC," February 17, 2012
- Business Week, "SD Republicans nominate Nelson, Fiegen to PUC," June 22, 2012
- South Dakota Secretary of State - Election Information 2010
- South Dakota Secretary of State - Election Information 2006
- Follow the Money, " Career fundraising for Chris Nelson," accessed May 10, 2013
- Follow the Money.org, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
|South Dakota Public Utilities Commission
| Succeeded by|
|South Dakota Secretary of State
| Succeeded by|
Jason Gant (R)