Dennis Daugaard

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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 ran for re-election in 2014.[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 Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and received his Juris Doctor from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, Illinois.[1]

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.

On The Issues Vote Match

Dennis Daugaard's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Daugaard is a Moderate Populist Conservative. Daugaard received a score of 34 percent on social issues and 55 percent on economic issues.[10]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[11]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Opposes
Vouchers for school choice Favors Keep God in the public sphere Unknown
Absolute right to gun ownership Favors Human needs over animal rights Neutral
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Strongly Favors
Support & expand free trade Unknown Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Unknown
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Opposes Maintain US sovereignty from UN Unknown
Prioritize green energy Favors Expand the military Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Favors Stay out of Iran Unknown
Privatize Social Security Unknown Never legalize marijuana Favors
Note: Information last updated: June 25, 2014.[10] If you notice the rating has changed, email us.



See also: South Dakota gubernatorial election, 2014

Daugaard ran for re-election as Governor of South Dakota in 2014. He won re-nomination as a Republican in the primary on June 3. The general election took place November 4, 2014.

Primary results

Daugaard defeated one opponent to secure the Republican nomination.

South Dakota Gubernatorial Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDennis Daugaard Incumbent 80.9% 60,017
Lora Hubbel 19.1% 14,196
Total Votes 74,213
Election Results via South Dakota Secretary of State.


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.[12]

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

Then-Lt. Gov. Daugaard won over 50% of the primary vote, seeing off four other Republican candidates. [13]

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.[14]

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.[15] 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


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Office of the South Dakota Governor, " About Dennis," accessed June 20, 2013
  2. New York Times, "In State Governments, Signs of a Healthier G.O.P.," April 16, 2013
  3. Rapid City Journal, "Daugaard says he's leaning toward running in 2014," May 5, 2013
  4. Huffington Post, "Dennis Daugaard, South Dakota Governor, Rejects Obamacare Medicaid Expansion," December 5, 2012
  5. The Republic, "South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard says the state's gun control laws are in good shape," January 19, 2013
  6. The Business Journals, "Governors and jobs: How governors rank for job creation in their states," June 27, 2013
  7. The Business Journals, "How state governors rank on their job-growth record," June 27, 2013
  8. South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, "South Dakota Lt. Governor Dennis Daugaard," accessed October 25, 2013
  9. South Dakota Governor, About Governor Dennis Daugaard," accessed October 25, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 On The Issues, "Dennis Daugaard Vote Match," accessed June 25, 2014
  11. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers.
  12. South Dakota Secretary of State, "General Election - November 2, 2010," updated November 9, 2001 at 17:10, accessed November 15, 2010
  13. The New York Times, "Election 2010-South Dakota Primary Results," June 8, 2010
  14. Follow the Money, " Career fundraising for Dennis Daugaard," accessed May 10, 2013
  15. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
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