HURON — Shortly after polls closed in the western half of South Dakota Tuesday evening, the Associated Press called the races for both Congressmen running in the state, sending Sen. John Thune and Rep. Dustin Johnson back to Washington.
Thune, a Republican, won his fourth term in the Senate. He had previously served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Thune was opposed on the ballot by Democrat Brian Bengs and Libertarian Tamara Lesnar.
Republican Johnson defeated Libertarian Collin Duprel to retain his seat in the U.S. House. This will be Johnson’s third term in the House.
Republican Governor Kristi Noem jumped out to an early lead on the evening and held a significant lead throughout the night, and the race was officially called at press time.
Statewide ballot measures had two very different results. Amendment D to expand Medicaid coverage passed, opening the very first reports with 55% of the vote and remaining near that point throughout the evening, finishing the night with 56% of the vote.
Initiated Measure 27 to legalize the possession, use, and distribution of recreational marijuana in the state opened the evening with a 52% “no” rate, and the vote widened as the votes came in from across the state, though the final tally saw the measure fail with a 53% "no" vote statewide.
Locally, State Senator David Wheeler ran unopposed for his seat in District 22. Republicans Lynn Schneider and Roger Chase retained their seats in the House, representing District 22, defeating Democrat Shane Milne.
In other down-ballot statewide races, Republican Monae Johnson won the Secretary of State race, Republican Richard Sattgast won the State Auditor race, Republican Josh Haeder won the State Treasurer race, Republican Brock Greenfield won the race for Commissioner of School and Public Lands, and Republican Chris Nelson won the race for Public Utilities Commissioner.
In the other area race of note, for Circuit Court, Position E - Third Circuit, incumbent Robert Spears narrowly defeated Michael Moore, garnering 51% of the cast ballots to 49% for Moore. Moore actually won 10 of the 14 counties in third circuit, but Spears had a large margin of victory in his home county of Codington, which had the largest turnout in the circuit.
Statewide, voter turnout was at 59% and Beadle County was right in line with that, reporting a 59.5% voter turnout.