Press "Enter" to skip to content

20 Senators, 19 Representatives Face No November Election

The election results are in—for thirteen lucky Republican Legislative candidates who faced no opposition and thus automatically ascend to seats in the Capitol:

Senate (all incumbents; Davis switching from House to Senate):

  1. Sen. John Wiik (R-4/Big Stone City)
  2. Sen. Herman Otten (R-6/Lennox)
  3. Rep. Sydney Davis (R-17/Burbank)
  4. Sen. Joshua Klumb (R-20/Mitchell)
  5. Sen. David Wheeler (R-22/Huron)
  6. Sen. Ryan Maher (R-28/Isabel)
  7. Sen. Michael Diedrich (R-34/Rapid City)
  8. Sen. Jessica Castleberry (R-35/Rapid City)

House (all incumbents):

  1. Rep. Aaron Aylward (R-6/Harrisburg)
  2. Rep. Ernie Otten (R-6/Tea)
  3. Rep. Rocky Blare (R-21/Ideal)
  4. Rep. Marty Overweg (R-21/Corsica)
  5. Rep. Rebecca Reimer (R-26A/Oacoma)

By the end of the day, primary voters will have elected 12 more Senators and 14 more Representatives, all Republicans, who face no opposition in the general election:


  • District 2 (SE Sioux Falls, Brandon)
  • District 3 (Aberdeen)
  • District 5 (Watertown)
  • District 7 (Brookings)
  • District 8 (Madison, Chester, Howard, DeSmet, Arlington, Volga, Elkton)
  • District 9 (NW Sioux Falls, Hartford)
  • District 23 (Miller, Faulkton, Ipswich, Leola, Eureka, Herreid, Mobridge, Selby, Gettysburg)
  • District 24 (Pierre, Ft. Pierre, Philip, Onida, Holabird, Highmore)
  • District 25 (Dell Rapids, Flandreau, Colman, Colton, Humboldt, Garretson, north fringe of Sioux Falls)
  • District 29 (Sturgis, Piedmont, Faith)
  • District 30 (S Rapid City, Hill City, Custer, Hot Springs)
  • District 31 (Spearfish, Deadwood, Lead)


  • District 8 (Madison, Chester, Howard, DeSmet, Arlington, Volga, Elkton)
  • District 13 (S Sioux Falls)
  • District 19 (Salem, Canistota, Alexandria, Freeman, Menno, Parkston, Tripp, Scotland, Tyndall, Springfield
  • District 20 (Mitchell, Artesian, Wessington Springs)
  • District 23 (Miller, Faulkton, Ipswich, Leola, Eureka, Herreid, Mobridge, Selby, Gettysburg)
  • District 24 (Pierre, Ft. Pierre, Philip, Onida, Holabird, Highmore)
  • District 31 (Spearfish, Deadwood, Lead)

That’s 20 Republican Senators—a majority in the Senate, just four shy of the 24 votes necessary to suspend the rules, impose taxes, and override vetoes—and 19 Republican Representatives who don’t have to answer to voters at the general election.

The list of November coasters would have been longer if it weren’t for the Libertarians, who have fielded candidates for Rapid City’s District 33 Senate race and for Sturgis/Faith’s District 29 House race. We also have independents holding up the primary coronations in northeast South Dakota’s District 1 Senate race and the Belle Fourche/Buffalo/Lemmon single-seat District 28B House race and the otherwise unopposed Sioux Falls’s District 13 Senate race.


  1. Tim 2022-06-07 06:59

    The Democrat party in this state has been dead for decades, I have been thinking I’ll switch back to the Republican party just so I can participate in the primary part of the vote. It was embarrassing to go vote the primary and only have amendment C to vote on. It’s become painfully obvious to me that the majority in this state are completely fine with single party rule and all of the corruption and BS that comes with it.

  2. larry kurtz 2022-06-07 07:19

    This interested party has been urging South Dakota voters to register in the Earth hater party since the Mount Blogmore days.

    It’s agonizing giving a crap about politics in South Dakota. Ask anyone who has gone door to door for a candidate or an issue. It’s either energizing or miserably humbling.

    Just for fun, we can look up dead horses’ butts all day long to know much less than we know now and letting John Thune have a free ride was South Dakota Democrats’ first stupid choice. In 2010 Sam Hurst lamented the defeat of apparent DINO, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, because Dr. Kevin Weiland chose to mount stupid choice number two, a primary run against her, then strike three? Weiland withdraws, too late to file a run for Senate.

  3. 96Tears 2022-06-07 13:44

    Look at that list Cory put up here. Democrats used to hold some of those areas. Because of neglect cycle after cycle, Republicans captured those districts and are now banging on the door to some of the strongest Democrat districts. Shameful. Give Seiler the boot. Get someone with brains and a spine to take over. Start working today on building back stronger so Democrats can become competitive in 2024 and beyond. The 2022 election ends at 7 p.m. today for Democrats.

  4. BHSD76 2022-06-07 13:59

    I changed my registration to R a couple years ago because in almost every district in SD the primary is the only chance you get to actually vote for a slightly more moderate or traditional conservative R vs a hard right wing extremist. The SD legislature would probably be a bit more moderate if every D in the state and all moderate Independents just switched to R and voted in the primaries. The R doesn’t mean much anymore in the state legislature when 90% of members have one. Watching how they vote or what bills they bring to the table is a lot more important then the letter behind their name.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-07 14:16

    Good point, 96. Sioux Falls, Brookings, Watertown, Aberdeen—these aren’t Fort Pierre and Lemmon. These are reasonably big towns where it should be hard to find a critical mass of Democrats with some wealth, connections, and door-knocking energy to put behind Democratic candidates.

    Now we need to watch after the primary for the placeholder drop-offs to see if Republicans get a few more free passes to Pierre.

  6. Algebra 2022-06-07 14:52

    Over the years I have observed the two parties evolve. 20 years ago it was becoming apparent that the Democratic Party was becoming a party of parasites. I would attend events and notice I was surrounded by unkempt slobs who were only there for the free food. All they wanted to know was what the candidates could do for them.
    I started attending Republican events; the attendees were well-dressed, paid a lot of money to attend, and asked the candidates what they could do to help.

    When the Democrats in a state don’t want to help their candidates, don’t want to spend their own money, are not interested in investing their own time or money in helping somebody win an election, won’t even circulate a petition unless they are paid for their efforts, what do you think is going to happen?? Candidates need support. They need YOU. They need you to circulate petitions without being paid, they need you to show up, march in parades, stuff envelopes, go door to door, and most importantly, give them money. If the South Dakota Democrats aren’t willing to do that, they aren’t going to have candidates.

  7. ABC 2022-06-07 14:54

    A Progressive type party should replace the Dem. Party, who keeps on letting R’s win unopposed !

    Dem Party will NOT get it done! Progressives will !

  8. larry kurtz 2022-06-07 14:57

    New Mexico is the political inverse of my home state. It’s where if the lopsided Supreme Court of the United States ultimately overturns Roe v. Wade women will still be free to exercise their reproductive rights because Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Respect New Mexico Women and Families Act that repealed the 1969 state statute banning abortion. In New Mexico Medicaid covers abortions and even transportation in rural areas to get to clinics in Albuquerque.

    We have passed a death with dignity statute, free college, legal cannabis for all adults and according to WalletHub we are at the top of states where racial equity trumps profit.

  9. Curt 2022-06-07 15:02

    96: Dems certainly can “Give Seiler the boot,” but I doubt much would be gained as a result. Implying that Seiler lacks “brains (sic) and a spine” demonstrates a failure to grasp much of what is involved.
    Overlooked in your statement that “The 2022 election ends at 7 pm today for Democrats,” is the very important fact that the Party has nominated a viable and highly qualified candidate for Governor. If sufficient resources and support can be mobilized to elect Jamie Smith in November, it would immediately bring about dramatic improvement in the fortunes of SD Democrats.

  10. Tim 2022-06-07 17:12

    Curt, Billie Sutton was a very solid candidate for Governor as well, you have noticed what we’ve been stuck with for the last four years yes? I’m telling you, the majority of the people that vote here are quite content with what is going on here. A few are getting rich, the rest are owning the libs and that’s all they give a damn about.
    BHSD makes a valid point and it may be the only way to moderate the stupid in this state.

  11. P. Aitch 2022-06-07 17:51

    P. Aitch’s theory on the essence of SD politics.
    – SD rural voters will vote anonymously just like any other state, for the things they want (i.e. ethics commission, legal weed, women’s rights, gun freedoms, low taxes, Medicaid, welfare etc.) at about 55% for. That’s how blue/purple states vote.
    – But, SD rural voters vote for their elected officials at about 70% for. I think this is because these rural voters would be embarrassed if their little town/county was singled out as being a “democrat/liberal” town even though the majority of their little town’s voters support Democratic Party ideas. In towns/counties of between 500 – 10,000 votes it’s called “going along to get along”.
    – Only Sioux Falls is big enough that it’s proud to be a blue town in a red state. Rapid City has this “Texas cowboy” idea of itself and votes with redneck posturing because they think that’s what a “cowboy” would do, even though they vote for liberal ideas at about 65%.
    – In short SD rural voters will vote statewide for liberal ideas because their little town’s votes don’t stand out in the election results. But, they’ll only vote for Republican lawmakers because the idea of being different than the herd and having the rest of the state know about it makes their vote anything but anonymous. Embarrassment is a bigger fear in SD than anywhere I’ve ever lived.
    – Out of state Republican money (Americans For Prosperity/Koch Brothers) knows this paradigm all to well and that’s why they spent beaucoup bucks to get a 60% pass rate, when the people initiate what they want. Because liberal ideas often pass in South Dakota at 55% but rarely at 61%.

  12. P. Aitch 2022-06-07 19:20

    That’s my explanation of I’m sure Amendment C will fail 55-43. – P

  13. Bob Newland 2022-06-07 19:29

    We can only hope (about two hours before the races are called in SoDak) that C failed. If it does not, the initiative is dead, except by decree of huge out-of-state $.

  14. grudznick 2022-06-07 19:59

    Ms. PH, that is a dandy take you have there. And worth a hard consider by many, including grudznick.

  15. larry kurtz 2022-06-07 20:09

    Good eye, Porter. You gonna bake paella just steam some clams?

  16. Arlo Blundt 2022-06-07 21:26

    Mr. P. Aitch…you’ve read rural South Dakota right…no one would EVER admit they voted for McGovern, but he kept getting elected. I remember people I know who voted for McGovern telling rock ribbed Republicans that the only people voting for him were members of the Farmer’s Union, school teachers, and union workers at Morrells.

  17. Arlo Blundt 2022-06-07 21:42

    Argus Leader reporting C failing 68% to 31% …all central time zone votes…in a surprise…Taffy is at 38% with a small fraction of votes counted east river.

  18. Kurt Evans 2022-06-08 01:48

    Cory writes:

    The list of November coasters would have been longer if it weren’t for the Libertarians, who have fielded candidates for Rapid City’s District 33 Senate race and for Sturgis/Faith’s District 29 House race.

    Joe Sneve of the Argus Leader writes on Twitter:

    With no D or I in the SD House race, @RepDustyJohnson has earned a third term in Congress.

    That’s the U.S. House race, and there’s a Libertarian challenger.

    Better journalism here:

    Dakota News Now is also ignoring the Libertarian candidates, but thanks to KELO-TV for shouting out Tracey Quint for governor.

  19. Kurt Evans 2022-06-08 02:05

    Joe Sneve writes for the Argus Leader:

    Dusty Johnson secures House re-election after winning Republican nomination: AP

    Republicans in South Dakota want Congressman Dusty Johnson back on Capitol Hill.

    The 45-year-old Republican Tuesday earned a third term in the U.S. House of Representatives when he defeated challenger Taffy Howard, a state lawmaker from the Black Hills…

    Because no Democrats or Independents filed candidacies seeking South Dakota’s lone seat in Congress, the Pierre native and former chief of staff under Gov. Dennis Daugaard will go unopposed in November’s general election.

    Again, there’s a Libertarian challenger:

  20. Kurt Evans 2022-06-08 03:17

    Cory writes:

    By the end of the day, primary voters will have elected 12 more Senators and 14 more Representatives, all Republicans, who face no opposition in the general election…

    If you break down the results of the Schoenbeck v. Odenbach wars, I’d enjoy a sidebar on how Jordan Mason fared against Pat Powers in the battle of the mailers. Based on the races I’d been watching, I’ll be surprised if Pat Powers publishes any such analysis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.