The sad news broke this afternoon that David E. Lust has died. He was only 53. Lust, was an Aberdeen native and a graduate of Dartmouth and USD Law. He was a partner at Gunderson Palmer law firm in Rapid City. He and his wife, Becky, have four children.
Lust spent ten years in the South Dakota House of Representatives. From 2007-15, he served in the House, representing a district that includes much of western Rapid City. During that time, he spent four years as House Majority Leader. After a two year break, he returned in 2017 when Gov. Dennis Daugaard appointed Lust to replace the late Rep. Dan Dryden. Lust served the two year term but didn’t seek re-election in 2018.
(Lust’s obituary and memorial service details have been posted here.)
David Lust was a widely respected legislator and a friend to many. He was a major civic leader in Rapid City and an important member of the state’s legal community. And he was a committed husband and father.
Lust never sought statewide office, but his name was often mentioned by politicos as a person who could have. De Knudson mentioned on Facebook tonight that her husband, Dave Knudson, had planned to name Lust as his running mate had Knudson won the 2010 Republican primary for Governor.
As the word spread this afternoon, many of us who knew David and worked with him were shocked by his loss. South Dakota is a little poorer today.
The Argus Leader has posted a story that includes tributes from Gov. Kristi Noem, former Gov. Dennis Daugaard, former Attorney General Marty Jackley (a law partner of Lust), and longtime Democratic legislative leader Bernie Hunhoff.
South Dakota Public Radio’s story about Lust includes tributes from Congressman Dusty Johnson, who served as Gov. Daugaard’s chief of staff when Lust was majority leader; Rep. Will Mortenson, who was a legal intern for Lust; and former house speaker Mark Mickelson.
Congressman Dusty Johnson shared this photo by Jeremiah Murphy, of Johnson as chief of staff at the State Capitol in 2014 with Lust, Rep. Justin Cronin, and longtime gubernatorial staffer Deb Bowman. Lust, Cronin, and Bowman are all gone now, all too soon. Bowman died in 2018, and Cronin passed away last year. South Dakota is a great state because we are led by citizen-servants like them.