PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Retiring Gov. Dennis Daugaard takes deep pride in South Dakota's financial health, touting the state's structurally balanced budget, fully funded retirement system and top-notch credit rating in a farewell address this month.
Elected in 2010, Daugaard is leaving in January after term limits barred him from running again. Before occupying the governor's office, he served as a state legislator and lieutenant governor.
Daugaard's departure caps a tenure that saw South Dakota dramatically reshape its criminal justice system, move out of last in the nation for teacher pay and win a U.S. Supreme Court case allowing states to force online shoppers to pay sales tax.
Daugaard says South Dakota doesn't let ideology get in the way of solving problems. He will be succeeded by Republican Gov.-elect Kristi Noem.