Governor Kristi Noem gets to pick her third legislator—or fourth, depending on how you look at it. Justin Cronin is quitting his District 23 Senate seat to focus on his personal priorities:
Cronin, 38, served eight years in the House and now was in his third year in the Senate.
He was vice-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee that helps oversee state government’s budget. He also was vice-chairman of the Senate Government Operations and Audit Committee that serves as a watchdog on state departments and offices.
…“It’s been the honor of a lifetime to represent District 23 in our statehouse,” Cronin said in the governor’s announcement. “I’ve realized that I need to take a step back and focus my time on my family, health, and career” [Bob Mercer, “Cronin Resigns Senate, Lake Replaces and Noem Looks to Fill and Opening in SD’s House,” KELO-TV, 2019.08.28].
Noem up and right away promoted Cronin’s neighbor Representative John Lake (R-23/Gettysburg) to the Senate and called for suggestions to fill Lake’s seat for District 23. Get your nominations to Rachel Graves by September 10.
Noem got to handpick two legislators right when she started the job: Rep. Dayle Hammock (R-31/Spearfish) and Rep. Rhonda Milstead (R-9/Hartford).
Who was the Democrat in that district?
The last Democrat to be elected in this legislative district served two terms and was elected in 1992 and 1994.
This is a HUGE loss of some serious institutional knowledge.
Institutional knowledge? Sounds like good reason to appoint an experienced legislator to that position… like Nick Nemec!
Debbo, the Democrat who ran against Cronin in 2018 was Joe Yrecheta. Cronin beat him 83% to 17%, 7,869 to 1,661. The two Democrats who ran for House in 2018, Eleanor Iverson and Margaret Ann Walsh, won 2,105 and 1,717 votes, respectively.
It is likely the person Noem will pick for Lake’s now-empty House seat will have won zero votes in the 2018 District 23 races.