Red Sweep in South Dakota with Governor’s Race Last to Be Decided
South Dakotans chose Republicans to lead their state and represent them in Congress on Election Day in 2018.
Early on, trickling results lead to a steady stream of support for Kristi Noem who will conclude her service in Washington D.C. as a member of the House of Representatives and begin her tenure as Governor of South Dakota defeating Democrat Billie Sutton and Libertarian Kurt Evans.
The other down-ballot races and the contest to fill Noem’s seat in the House of Representatives were one-sided from the beginning. Shortly after 9:00 PM Republican Dusty Johnson had the win in hand and carried a double-digit margin throughout the night to best Democrat Tim Bjorkman, Independent Ron Wieczorek, and Libertarian George Hendrickson.
The rest of the Constitutional offices followed the Republican trend with Steve Barnett winning Secretary of State, Josh Haeder as Treasurer, Kristie Fiegen retaining her seat on the Public Utilities Commission, Rich Sattgast gaining the State Auditor position, and Ryan Brunner once again voted as Commissioner of Public Lands. Those five races were won with each candidate amassing at least 60 percent of the vote. One down-ballot outlier was the race for Secretary of State with Republican Jason Ravnsborg in a comfortable win, but a somewhat closer battle with Democrat Randy Seiler.
In one respect the performance of the Democratic candidates as a whole improved from the last midterm election which was decided by larger margins and all the speeches given by 11:00 PM.
It was a bit more tense in the Governor’s race as Noem and Sutton slowly grew apart after being virtually tied when the first results arrived. By midnight the tally was just too much to overcome and Noem’s victory was assured.