Republicans retain South Dakota’s House seat with Dusty Johnson win

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN/KOTA TV) - Dusty Johnson easily handled his opponents to capture the state’s U.S. House of Representatives seat Tuesday.

"I’m so grateful to the voters of South Dakota. I have energy to burn and now I’m going to use that energy to put South Dakota first every day in Congress. Starting Wednesday, my top priority will be tackling the Farm Bill,” Johnson said.

With 565 of 698 precincts reporting, Johnson has a commanding 61 to 35 percent lead over Democrat Tim Bjorkman. Independent Ron Wieczorek is pulling in 2 percent with the remaining 1 percent for Libertarian George Hendrickson.

Johnson, from Pierre, will replace Rep. Kristi Noem who opted to run for South Dakota governor rather than another two-year congressional term.

Johnson was first elected to public office in 2004 when he successfully ran for the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. He served until 2011 when he resigned to become Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s chief of staff. He served until 2014 when he left for a private sector job.

Bjorkman, a lawyer, was elected as a judge of the First Judicial Circuit in 2006. He served on the bench through June 2017.