MAPS! (of general elections for SD Governor)

The general election contest between Republican Congresswoman Kristi Noem and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Billie Sutton is less than a month away. Polls indicate a potentially close race.

For reference, I am posting county-by-county maps showing the results of every gubernatorial election since 1970. That was the year that Democrat Dick Kneip was first elected governor, the most recent member of his party to win the office. Since that time, Kneip was reelected in 1972 and 1974. Republican Bill Janklow was elected in 1978, and Republicans have won the nine elections since.

These maps may or may not have much predictive value, but they are an interesting reference as we await the election. All data is taken from the SD Secretary of State’s election history page. Probably the most interesting are 1974 and 1986, the two most recent gubernatorial elections with a spread of less than 10%.

(For reference, I have included a map labeled with county names at the bottom. If you are interested, I have these election maps for every gubernatorial primary and general election since 1889. Use the contact tab if you’d like to see one in particular.)

1970 Kneip Farrar

  • Richard F. Kneip was a state senator and the senate majority leader, and the owner of a dairy equipment business from Salem (McCook County).
  • Frank Farrar was the incumbent governor and a former attorney general; he was from Britton (Marshall County).

1972 Kneip Thompson

  • Richard F. Kneip was the incumbent governor (McCook County).
  • Carv Thompson a state representative and a pharmacist with drug stores in Faith, Deadwood and McLaughlin; he lived in Faith (Meade County).

1974 Kneip Olson

  • Richard F. Kneip was the incumbent governor (McCook County). The 1974 election was the first in which candidates for governor and lieutenant governor ran on a ticket. Kneip’s running mate was Harvey Wollman, the senate majority leader and a farmer from Spink County.
  • John E. Olson was a Sioux Falls (Minnehaha County) businessman who had served as state highway director in the Boe administration and as manager of the SD Rural Electric Association. His running mate was Eddie Clay, a Hot Springs (Fall River County) state representative and businessman.

1978 Janklow McKellips

  • Bill Janklow was the attorney general and a native of Flandreau (Moody County). His running mate was Lowell Hansen, the house speaker and a businessman from Sioux Falls (Minnehaha County).
  • Roger McKellips was a state senator and banker from Alcester (Union County). His running mate was Billie Sutton, a rancher and state senator from Gregory County and the grandfather of the 2018 gubernatorial nominee.

1982 Janklow O'Connor

  • Bill Janklow was the incumbent governor (Moody County); his running mate was incumbent Lt. Governor Lowell Hansen (Minnehaha County).
  • Mike O’Connor was a former state senator and businessman from Brandon (Minnehaha County). His running mate was Willis Danekas, a Clark County state representative and farmer.

1986 Mickelson Herseth

  • George S. Mickelson was a former house speaker and the son of Gov. George T. Mickelson; he was an attorney from Brookings (Brookings County). His running mate, Walter Dale Miller, was a longtime legislative leader and rancher from Meade County.
  • R. Lars Herseth was a the house minority leader and the son of Gov. Ralph Herseth; like his father, he farmed near Houghton (Brown County). His running mate was Ted Thoms, a Sioux Falls businessman and Minnehaha County commissioner.

1990 Mickelson Samuelson

  • George S. Mickelson was the incumbent governor (Brookings County); his running mate was incumbent Lt. Governor Walter Dale Miller (Meade County).
  • Bob Samuelson was a state senator and rancher from Meade County. His running mate was Shirley Halleen, a former state representative from Sioux Falls (Minnehaha County). Halleen was the first woman to appear on a major party’s gubernatorial ticket.

1994 Janklow Beddow

  • Bill Janklow was a former governor and an attorney; he had moved to Brandon (Minnehaha County). His running mate was Carole Hillard, a state representative from Rapid City (Pennington County).
  • Jim Beddow was the president of Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell (Davison County). His running mate, Jim Abbott, was a state representative and businessman from Yankton (Yankton County).

1998 Janklow Hunhoff

  • Bill Janklow was the incumbent governor (Minnehaha County); his running mate was incumbent Lt. Governor Carole Hillard (Pennington County).
  • Bernie Hunhoff was a the senate minority leader and the publisher of South Dakota Magazine, based in Yankton (Yankton County). His running mate was Elsie Meeks, a businesswoman and economic development official from Interior (Jackson County). Meeks was the first Native American to appear on a major party’s gubernatorial ticket.

2002 Rounds Abbott

  • Mike Rounds was a former senate majority leader and a businessman from Pierre (Hughes County). His running mate was Dennis Daugaard, a state senator and non-profit executive from Dell Rapids (Minnehaha County).
  • Jim Abbott was a former Yankton businessman and state legislator who was president of the University of South Dakota (Clay County). His running mate was Mike Wilson, a former state representative and attorney from Rapid City (Pennington County).

2006 Rounds Billion

  • Mike Rounds was the incumbent governor (Hughes County); his running mate was incumbent Lt. Governor Dennis Daugaard (Minnehaha County).
  • Jack Billion was a former state representative and orthopedic surgeon from Sioux Falls (Minnehaha County). His running mate was Eric Abrahamson, a historian and school board member from Rapid City (Pennington County).

2010 Daugaard Heidepriem

  • Dennis Daugaard was the lieutenant governor and the CEO of Children’s Home Society, from Dell Rapids (Minnehaha County). His running mate was Matt Michels, the former house speaker and an attorney from Yankton (Yankton County).
  • Scott Heidepriem was the senate minority leader and at attorney from Sioux Falls (Minnehaha County); he was a former Republican who had previously represented his hometown of Miller in the legislature. His running mate was Ben Arndt, a businessman from Sioux Falls (Lincoln County) who was also a former Republican.

2014 Daugaard Wismer

  • Dennis Daugaard was the incumbent governor (Minnehaha County); his running mate was incumbent Lt. Governor Matt Michels (Yankton County).
  • Susan Wismer was a state representative and accountant from Britton (Marshall County). Her running mate was Susy Blake, a former state representative and nurse from Sioux Falls (Minnehaha County). Wismer was the first woman to be nominated by a major party for Governor of South Dakota, and the Wismer/Blake Gov/LG ticket was only the fourth in U.S. History to include two women.

Labeled South Dakota county map

south-dakota-county-map

Notes:  “Oglala Lakota County” was known as “Shannon County” prior to 2015. As it is shown on this map, Jackson County also includes the former Washabaugh County; the counties were merged in 1983. In 1970, 1972 and 1974 the two counties reported results separately; on the maps, Jackson County is the northern portion of the current county and Washabaugh County is the southern portion.  In 1978 and 1982, the counties, although separate, reported results jointly; this is denoted by a gray border.

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