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Stephanie Herseth Sandlin

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Title: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin  
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Subject: United States House of Representatives election in South Dakota, 2010, Kristi Noem, South Dakota's at-large congressional district, Bill Janklow, United States House of Representatives elections, 2010
Collection: 1970 Births, American Lawyers, American Lutherans, American People of German Descent, American People of Norwegian Descent, American Women Lawyers, Democratic Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, Female Members of the United States House of Representatives, Georgetown University Alumni, Georgetown University Faculty, Georgetown University Law Center Alumni, Living People, Members of the United States House of Representatives from South Dakota, People from Brown County, South Dakota, South Dakota Democrats, Spouses of Members of the United States House of Representatives, Women in South Dakota Politics
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Stephanie Herseth Sandlin

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Dakota's At-large district
In office
June 1, 2004 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Bill Janklow
Succeeded by Kristi Noem
Personal details
Born Stephanie Marie Herseth
(1970-12-03) December 3, 1970
Houghton, South Dakota, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Max Sandlin (2007–present)
Children one
Residence Brookings, South Dakota[1]
Alma mater Georgetown University, B.A. (1993)
Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., (1997)
Religion LutheranELCA

Stephanie Marie Herseth Sandlin (born December 3, 1970) is an attorney[2] who served as the Democratic U.S. Representative for South Dakota's at-large congressional district from 2004 until 2011. She was first elected to Congress in a special election in June 2004, and was re-elected three times before losing her seat in Congress to Republican Kristi Noem in 2010. She was the youngest female member of the House, and the first woman elected to the House of Representatives from South Dakota. Before her 2007 marriage to Max Sandlin, she was known as Stephanie Herseth.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
  • U.S. House of Representatives 3
    • Committees 3.1
    • Voting record 3.2
  • Political campaigns 4
    • 2002 4.1
    • 2004 4.2
    • 2006 4.3
    • 2010 4.4
  • Post congressional career 5
  • Personal life 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life and education

Stephanie Herseth was born on December 3, 1970, the daughter of Joyce and Ralph Lars Herseth, and was raised on her family's farm near Houghton. Her father's family has been active for two generations in South Dakota politics. Her father served in the South Dakota State Legislature for two decades and ran for Governor in 1986. Her paternal grandfather, Ralph Herseth, was the Governor of South Dakota, and her paternal grandmother, Lorna H. (Buntrock) Herseth, was Secretary of State of South Dakota. Her ancestry includes German and Norwegian.[3]

Herseth graduated from Groton High School in

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bill Janklow
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Dakota's At-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Kristi Noem

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

External links

  1. ^ a b c AP staff writer (2007-04-01). "S.D. Representative gets married". The Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  2. ^ a b Ackley, Kate (2011-03-02). "Herseth Sandlin Looks Forward to K Street, With Eye on Lobbying". Roll Call (Congressional Quarterly). Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie, (1970 – )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  5. ^ "Committees". Office of U.S. Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. U.S. House of Representatives. 
  6. ^ Bogardus, Kevin (2011-03-02). "Blue Dog heads to K Street".  
  7. ^ Final Vote Results for Roll Call 887, United States House of Representatives
  8. ^ Woster, Kevin (5 March 2010). "Herseth Sandlin says no to Senate health bill, reconciliation". Rapid City Journal. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Waltman, Scott (2004-10-30). "Herseth not typical S.D. politician". Herseth for Congress. 
  10. ^ "Stephanie Herseth Sandlin". Who Runs Gov. The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Kraushaar, Josh. Herseth Sandlin running for reelection. Politico. July 7, 2009.
  12. ^ Woster, Kevin (March 31, 2010). "Kevin Weiland pulls out of race, won't challenge Herseth Sandlin". Rapid City Journal. Retrieved November 12, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b Woster, Kevin. (June 13, 2010). "Historic U.S. House campaign begins". Rapid City Journal. Retrieved November 12, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b c Murray, Matthew (2010-07-26). "GOP Assails Sandlin Family Ties".  
  15. ^ Montgomery, David (2010-09-27). "Noem targets Herseth Sandlin’s lobbyist husband in heated House race".  
  16. ^ "Sandlin’s job no laughing matter".  
  17. ^ Young, Steve (2010-11-03). "Wave carries Kristi Noem".  
  18. ^ "Professional Directory – Stephanie Herseth Sandlin". Washington D.C.: Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC. 
  19. ^ "Stephanie Herseth Sandlin Joins OFW Law – Congressional Leader Joining Nation's Premier Agriculture & FDA Law Firm". Olsson Frank Weeda. March 2, 2011. 
  20. ^ Bogardus, Kevin; Leven, Rachel (17 May 2012). "Ex-lawmakers on K Street avoid ‘Scarlet L,’ shy away from registering as lobbyists". The Hill. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  21. ^ "Daily Republic Article". Insurance News. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  22. ^ "Herseth Sandlin to become a Raven executive". Argus Leader. 30 May 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  23. ^ Montgomery, David (13 May 2013). "Stephanie Herseth Sandlin not running for Senate". Argus Leader. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  24. ^ Jonathan Ellis (27 April 2011). "Chicoine defends SDSU post for Stephanie Herseth Sandlin". Sioux Falls Argus Leader. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  25. ^ Ackley, Kate. K Street Files: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin Heading to South Dakota Job, Roll Call, June 14, 2012.
  26. ^ "Herseth to marry on Saturday".  
  27. ^ Montgomery, David (8 November 2010). "Politicos weigh Herseth Sandlin's future". Rapid City Journal. 


Stephanie Herseth married Max Sandlin, a four-term U.S. Representative from Texas and registered lobbyist with Mercury, in March 2007.[25] He was defeated in 2004 when running for re-election.[1] The couple met when Herseth first ran for Congress in 2002.[26] Upon her marriage, she became known as Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.[1] Their son, Zachary, was born in 2008.[27]

Personal life

Herseth Sandlin serves as an adjunct assistant professor at South Dakota State University.[24]

After her defeat in the 2010 Congressional election, Herseth Sandlin joined the Washington, D.C. firm of Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz as a principal attorney focusing on federal laws and regulations.[18][19] She told Roll Call that she might register to lobby Congress, after the expiration of the mandatory one-year waiting period which bars former Members from that activity.[2] Ultimately, she did not register as a lobbyist after the cooling off period ended.[20] Although Herseth Sandlin did not run in 2012, political commentators suggested that she may seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Tim Johnson in 2014. Ultimately, she decided not to run, citing her children and her desire to continue in her role at Raven Industries in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.[21][22][23]

Post congressional career

Herseth Sandlin was defeated on November 2, 2010 by Noem. The final vote tally was 48.14 percent for Noem, and 45.9 percent for Herseth Sandlin.[17]

During the campaign, Noem also criticized Herseth Sandlin's husband, Max Sandlin. She said the lobbyist and former Congressman's list of clients included companies that had interests in legislation that would come before Congress, and suggested he would have improper influence because of his marriage.[14][15] The Rapid City Journal editorial board stated that Herseth Sandlin should take the concerns seriously.[16] Roll Call characterized the Republican charges as an attempt "to stoke anti-Beltway emotions".[14] Herseth Sandlin's campaign responded that she did not allow family members to lobby her or her staff.[14]

Prior to the 2010 Democratic primary, Kevin Weiland, a physician who had begun a campaign against Herseth Sandlin, but who had not yet filed to be on the ballot, called off his efforts. He said he had "concern for what the net effect would be on our political party retaining the seat in the next Congress, but also after receiving assurances from Stephanie that she will not vote to repeal the recently passed health care reform law."[12] He had spoken to Democratic party leaders as well as to Herseth Sandlin before making this decision.[13] Her opponent, Republican Kristi Noem, charged that Weiland's decision not to run was due to Herseth Sandlin trading her vote for personal gain. Herseth Sandlin strongly denied the allegation and said there was no quid pro quo arrangement between her and Weiland.[13]

Herseth Sandlin was mentioned as a possible, even likely, candidate for Governor of South Dakota in 2010,[11] but she announced on July 7, 2009 that she would seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives.[11]


In November 2006, she defeated challenger Bruce Whalen for her second full-term. She received the second highest vote total for a Democratic candidate for the House in 2006.[10]


In the regularly scheduled election in November 2004, Herseth beat Diedrich with 53.4 percent of the vote. The vote margin in June was about 3,000 votes, but by the November election – which included a hard-fought contest for the Senate seat held by Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle – it had grown to more than 29,000. Both the 2004 special and general elections were close compared to many other House races in the rest of the United States, and garnered national attention.

Janklow was convicted of manslaughter in a motor vehicle accident, and resigned his seat, effective January 20, 2004, triggering a special election. Herseth Sandlin was selected as the Democratic nominee, and on June 1, 2004 beat Republican candidate Larry Diedrich with 51 percent of the vote. The victory gave South Dakota its first all-Democratic congressional delegation since 1937, with Senators Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson both Democrats.


She ran unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives seat in the 2002 election, losing in a close race to Republican Governor Bill Janklow.


Political campaigns

Early in the 2008 presidential election cycle, she supported Senator John Edwards. On February 26, 2008 she endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States.

She opposed her party's leadership on some issues related to gun rights, which won her the support of the National Rifle Association.[9] On social issues, Herseth Sandlin is pro-choice and expressed opposition to Referred Law 6, which sought to ban all abortions in her home state, including those for victims of incest and rape. She supported the Employment Nondiscrimination Act in 2007.

Herseth Sandlin voted against the Affordable Health Care for America Act.[7] In regards to voting against Healthcare Reform, she said she would "not vote for the Senate bill as is” and that she would "not vote for a package of changes that would go through the reconciliation process.”[8]

Voting record

She was a senior whip in the House of Representatives and co-chair of the Democratic conservative Blue Dog Coalition.[6]

During her tenure in the House, Herseth Sandlin was assigned to committees of concern to her constituency in South Dakota. The Agriculture Committee affects the state's largest industry, and the Natural Resources Committee has jurisdiction over national forests in the Black Hills, as well as policies affecting the state's nine federally recognized Native American tribes. She was selected to serve on the Select Committee on Global Warming and Energy Independence based upon her work on issues related to biofuels and renewable energy in rural America.[5]

Committee assignments


U.S. House of Representatives

After law school, Herseth worked as a Brookings, South Dakota.



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