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Revision as of 21:30, 10 March 2014

Dennis Daugaard
Governor of South Dakota
In office
January 8, 2011 - Present
Term ends
Years in position 4
PredecessorMike Rounds (R)
President, South Dakota State Senate
Base salary$100,972
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$3,372,605
Term limits2 consecutive terms
Prior offices
Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota
January 7, 2003 – January 8, 2011
South Dakota State Senate
High schoolDell Rapids High School (1971)
Bachelor'sUniversity of South Dakota (1975)
J.D.Northwestern University School of Law (1978)
Date of birthJune 11, 1953
Place of birthGarretson, SD
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Dennis M. Daugaard (born June 11, 1953 in Garretson, South Dakota) is the 32nd and current Governor of South Dakota. A Republican, he was first elected to the position with running mate Matt Michels on November 2, 2010, easily defeating their Democratic rivals. The two assumed office on January 8, 2011.[1]

As governor, Daugaard has made job creation, sound fiscal management, and efficient government operation his priorities. In an effort to improve efficiency and open state government, he launched the Better Government Initiative in 2011. An ongoing project, the effort works to cut red tape, eliminating over 900 sections of code.[1]

An analysis of Republican governors by Nate Silver of the New York Times in April 2013 ranked Daugaard as the 7th most conservative governor in the country.[2]

Daugaard is eligible for re-election in 2014. While he has said he is leaning towards running, he has yet to make a final decision.[3] He previously served as Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota and as a member of the South Dakota State Senate.


Daugaard was raised on a family farm near Garretson, South Dakota. Both parents were deaf and his earliest schooling was in a one-room rural schoolhouse. He attended high school in Dell Rapids, South Dakota, graduating in 1971. He attended the University of South Dakota, receiving a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and received his Juris Doctor from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, Illinois.

He practiced law for three years in Chicago before returning to Sioux Falls, where he worked as an executive banker for almost a decade. In 1990, he joined the Children's Home Society as development director, becoming executive director in 2002 and remaining there until 2009.


  • J.D., Northwestern University Law School, 1978
  • B.A., University of South Dakota, 1975
  • Graduated, Dell Rapids High School, 1971

Political career

Governor of South Dakota (2011-Present)

Daugaard was first elected governor on November 2, 2010.[1]

Judicial appointments

As governor, Daugaard is responsible for appointing judges to South Dakota state courts. In South Dakota, the governor makes a judicial appointment after candidates are recommended by a judicial nominating commission. After the governor appoints a judge to the Supreme Court, she or he must stand for retention in the next general election more than three years after taking office. Judges appointed to the circuit courts hold office until the end of the unexpired term. For an up-to-date list of all of Daugaard's appointees, see Judgepedia's page on his appointments.

Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")

On December 4, 2012, Daugaard told state legislators that he opposed the expansion of the state's Medicaid program to provide health benefits to "able-bodied" poor people under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as "Obamacare." "There are far too many unanswered questions for me to recommend adding 48,000 adults to the 116,000 already on our rolls," he stated. According to a study by the Urban Institute and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the expansion of Medicaid would cover an additional 44,000 state residents between 2014 and 2022. Daugaard cited higher projections, saying it would add an additional 48,564.[4]

Gun control

In January 2013, Daugaard said he supported the state's current gun laws and would not seek to change them. Any plan to improve school safety, including allowing teachers and administrators to carry guns in schools, he said, should be developed by local school officials and law enforcement agencies.[5]

Job creation ranking

In a June 2013 analysis by The Business Journals, which ranked 45 of the country's 50 governors by their job creation records, Daugaard was ranked number 13. The five governors omitted from the analysis all assumed office in 2013. The ranking was based on a comparison of the annual private sector growth rate in all 50 states using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.[6][7]

Lieutenant Governor (2003-2011)

Daugaard was elected lieutenant governor in 2002 on a ticket with Mike Rounds, and the two were re-elected in 2006. Under the South Dakota Constitution, Lt. Governor Daugaard served as President of the State Senate.[8] In addition, he served as chair of the Worker's Compensation Advisory Council, which reviews and makes recommendations regarding the state's workers' compensation program.

Daugaard also undertook other duties as assigned by the governor. He served as a member of a commission which is considering amendments to the legislative article of South Dakota's Constitution, and was chairman of a state task force studying options reducing the number of South Dakotans without health insurance coverage.[9]

South Dakota State Senate (1997-2003)

Daugaard was a member of the South Dakota State Senate from 1997 to 2003.



See also: South Dakota gubernatorial election, 2014

Daugaard is eligible to run for re-election as Governor of South Dakota in 2014. He has not yet made his intentions in the race known.


See also: South Dakota gubernatorial election, 2010 and Gubernatorial elections, 2010

Daugaard defeated four opponents in the June 8 primary and went on to defeat Scott Heidepriem (D) in the general election on November 2, 2010.

  • General

Daugaard won the general election in 2010 with 61.51% of the vote. Results have been certified as of November 9, 2010.[10]

Governor/Lt. Governor of South Dakota, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDennis Daugaard/Matthew Michels 61.5% 195,024
     Democratic Scott Heidepriem/Ben Arndt 38.5% 122,010
Total Votes 317,034

  • Primary


Governor of South Dakota, 2010
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDennis Daugaard 50.4% 42,266
Scott Munsterman 17.6% 14,733
Dave Knudson 15.8% 13,217
Gordon Howie 12.4% 10,430
Ken Knuppe 3.8% 3,186
Total Votes 83,832


On November 7, 2006, Mike Rounds/Dennis Daugaard won re-election to the office of Governor/Lt. Governor of South Dakota. They defeated Jack Billion/Eric Abrahamson, Steven J. Willis/Larry Johnsen and Tom Gerber/Bette Rose Ryan in the general election.

Governor/Lt. Governor of South Dakota, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMike Rounds/Dennis Daugaard Incumbent 61.7% 206,990
     Democratic Jack Billion/Eric Abrahamson 36.1% 121,226
     Constitution Steven J. Willis/Larry Johnsen 1.2% 4,010
     Libertarian Tom Gerber/Bette Rose Ryan 1% 3,282
Total Votes 335,508
Election Results Via: South Dakota Secretary of State


On November 5, 2002, Mike Rounds/Dennis Daugaard won election to the office of Governor/Lt. Governor of South Dakota. They defeated Jim Abbott/Mike Wilson, James P. Carlson/Ron Bosch and Nathan A. Barton/Eric Risty in the general election.

Governor/Lt. Governor of South Dakota, 2002
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMike Rounds/Dennis Daugaard 56.8% 189,920
     Democratic Jim Abbott/Mike Wilson 41.9% 140,263
     Independent James P. Carlson/Ron Bosch 0.7% 2,393
     Libertarian Nathan A. Barton/Eric Risty 0.6% 1,983
Total Votes 334,559
Election Results Via: South Dakota Secretary of State

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Daugaard is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Daugaard raised a total of $3,372,605 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 10, 2013.[12]

Dennis Daugaard's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Governor of South Dakota Not up for election $336,202
2010 Governor of South Dakota Won $2,532,050
2008 SD Lieutenant Governor Not up for election $445,485
2006 SD Lieutenant Governor Won $22,965
2004 SD Lieutenant Governor Not up for election $1,000
2002 SD Lieutenant Governor Won $20,365
2000 TN State Senate Won $14,538
Grand Total Raised $3,372,605


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 Dennis Daugaard's donors each year.[13] Click [show] for more information.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Dennis + Daugaard + South + Dakota + Governor"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Dennis Daugaard News Feed

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Daugaard and his wife, Linda, have been married since 1981 and have three children: Laura, Sara, and Christopher.[1]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


Political offices
Preceded by
Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota
Succeeded by
Matthew Michels (R)
Preceded by
Mike Rounds (R)
Governor of South Dakota
Succeeded by