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Dennis Daugaard

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Title: Dennis Daugaard  
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Subject: Mike Rounds, South Dakota gubernatorial election, 2010, Matt Michels, Carole Hillard, South Dakota
Collection: 1953 Births, 20Th-Century Lawyers, American People of Danish Descent, American People of Norwegian Descent, American People of Swedish Descent, Businesspeople from South Dakota, Governors of South Dakota, Illinois Lawyers, Lieutenant Governors of South Dakota, Living People, Northwestern University School of Law Alumni, People from Minnehaha County, South Dakota, Republican Party State Governors of the United States, South Dakota Lawyers, South Dakota Republicans, South Dakota State Senators, United States Presidential Electors, 2004, United States Presidential Electors, 2008, University of South Dakota Alumni
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Dennis Daugaard

Dennis Daugaard
32nd Governor of South Dakota
Assumed office
January 8, 2011
Lieutenant Matt Michels
Preceded by Mike Rounds
37th Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota
In office
January 7, 2003 – January 8, 2011
Governor Mike Rounds
Preceded by Carole Hillard
Succeeded by Matt Michels
Personal details
Born (1953-06-11) June 11, 1953
Garretson, South Dakota, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Linda Daugaard
Residence Governor's Residence
Alma mater University of South Dakota
Northwestern University
Religion Lutheranism[1]

Dennis Martin Daugaard (pronounced DEW-guard; born June 11, 1953) is an American politician who has been the 32nd Governor of South Dakota since January 2011. Upon winning the 2010 South Dakota gubernatorial election, Daugaard became the first CODA governor in South Dakota history and the history of the United States.[2][3][4]


  • Background, education and family 1
  • Service as state senator 2
  • South Dakota lieutenant governor 3
  • 2010 Gubernatorial campaign 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Background, education and family

Daugaard was raised on a family farm near Garretson, South Dakota by his mother and father who were both deaf. The family descends from immigrants from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. While growing up, sign language was the main method of communication in his home. Daugaard went to a one-room country school as a child but then attended high school, in which he played the French horn, in the city of Dell Rapids and graduated in 1971.

Daugaard then attended the University of South Dakota in Vermillion where he was advised by William O. Farber. Professor Farber also advised former USD students Tom Brokaw and Al Neuharth. Daugaard graduated USD in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in Government and went on to attend Northwestern University School of Law where he earned a Juris Doctor in 1978. Daugaard paid his way through law school, driving a bus through the downtown loop and working as a security guard.

After graduation, Daugaard worked as an attorney in Chicago, Illinois from 1978 to 1981, before returning to South Dakota. He then took a job as an executive banker in Sioux Falls, South Dakota from 1981 to 1990. He left the bank to become the Development Director for the Children's Home Society of South Dakota from 1990 to 2002 before becoming Executive Director from 2002 to 2009.

His first entry into politics came in 1997, when Daugaard was elected a South Dakota State Senator. In 2003, Daugaard became the 37th Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota, a position he held from 2003 to 2011. Daugaard and his wife, Linda, have been married since 1981 and have three children: Laura, who is married to Jay Mitchell; Sara, who is married to Tony Venhuizen; and Christopher, who is married to Emily Conway.

Service as state senator

Daugaard served as a member of the South Dakota State Senate from 1997 to 2003. While serving in the state legislature, Daugaard claimed his focus was on helping children and the disabled as well as reducing crime.[5]

South Dakota lieutenant governor

He was elected in 2002 on a ticket with Governor Mike Rounds, and the two were re-elected in 2006. As a lieutenant governor under the South Dakota Constitution, Daugaard served as the President of the South Dakota Senate. In addition, he served as the chair of the Workers' Compensation Advisory Council which reviews and makes recommendations regarding South Dakota's worker compensation program. While serving as lieutenant governor, Daugaard also fulfilled other duties as assigned by the governor and delegated by the state constitution. He served as a member of a commission that dealt with state constitutional amendments and was chairman of a state task force that considered options which would reduce the number of South Dakotans lacking health insurance coverage. In 2009, Daugaard promoted legislation to create the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority, which will promote economic development in Rapid City and other areas surrounding Ellsworth Air Force Base in western South Dakota. Daugaard has also promoted the Honor Flight program, which honors World War II veterans.[5]

2010 Gubernatorial campaign

Governor Dennis Daugaard is briefed on flood preparations

After serving two consecutive terms as lieutenant governor in the administration of South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds, Daugaard stepped forward to be a Republican gubernatorial nominee in 2010 and won the primary election against several other candidates. Daugaard chose Matt Michels to join his campaign as the lieutenant governor candidate. The Daugaard and Michels gubernatorial ticket beat Democratic rivals Scott Heidepriem and Ben Arndt by 61.5% to 38.5% in the November 2010 general election.[6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Schaffhauser, Erich (November 3, 2010). "Deaf Community Happy With Daugaard Win". Sioux Falls (S. Dakota) KELO-TV. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "First CODA becomes the Governor of South Dakota". Fookem and Bug. February 6, 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Gov to Speak at NAD (National Association of the Deaf) Conference". Deaf News Today. May 15, 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "About Dennis". South Dakota. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "The 2010 Results Maps". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 

External links

  • Governor Dennis Daugaard official South Dakota government site
  • Dennis Daugaard at DMOZ
  • Dennis Daugaard at South Dakota Legislator Historical Listing
Political offices
Preceded by
Carole Hillard
Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota
Succeeded by
Matt Michels
Preceded by
Mike Rounds
Governor of South Dakota
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Joe Biden
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within South Dakota
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise Paul Ryan
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jack Dalrymple
as Governor of North Dakota
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside South Dakota
Succeeded by
Steve Bullock
as Governor of Montana
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