Governor Kristi Noem gets to fill a second vacancy in the Rapid City Legislative contingent. Third-term Representative Jess Olson (R-34/Rapid City) resigned from her House seat this week for health reasons.
Noem still has to name a replacement for Jessica Castleberry, a Republican Noem appointee who left her District 35 Senate seat in a Noem-triggered scandal in August. Noem has delayed that appointment and will surely delay the appointment of a replacement for Olson until the South Dakota Supreme Court gets back to her on her sprawling request for opinions on Legislative conflicts of interest that Senate boss Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Lake Kampeska) has said will drain the swamp and leave almost no one to serve in Pierre. State Auditor Rich Sattgast told Schoenbeck and the Executive Board yesterday that he’s heard lawmakers are ratting each other out and may whack at 20 of their colleagues with conflict-of-interest allegations, less out of a keen interest in government integrity and more out of factional squabbles.
Noem has gotten to appoint eight legislators so far:
- Helene Duhamel, Senate, 2019—serving third term
- Dayle Hammock, House, 2019—served one term
- Rhonda Milstead, Senate, 2019—served two terms
- James Wangsness, House, 2019—serving third term
- Jessica Castleberry, Senate, 2020—resigned in third term
- Casey Crabtree, Senate, 2020—serving third term
- Marty Overweg, House, 2020—serving third term
- Lynn Schneider, House, 2020—serving third term