Noem, Thune, Johnson Win Primaries Easily, Amendment C Defeated 2-1


    South Dakota Gov Kristi Noem, U-S Senator John Thune, and Congressman Dusty Johnson all fought off challengers in the Republican primary who accused them of not being conservative enough.

     Noem drew 76% against former South Dakota House Speaker Steve Haugaard, who accused her of focusing on a possible presidential run instead of being governor and meeting the needs of the state and its residents.

      Thune, who drew the ire of Donald Trump last year by saying the 2020 election was over and Trump lost, took 72% of the vote against 2 little-known challengers. Bruce Whalen got 20% and Mark Mowry 7%.

      Johnson beat State Representative Taffy Howard of Rapid City by 18 points, but 41% of South Dakota Republicans did vote against him. 

      Constitutional Amendment C, which required at least a 60% vote for passage of ballot measures raising taxes or spending more than $10-million dollars in the first 5 years was soundly defeated by a 2-1 margin.

      Legislative leaders who put it on the ballot drew widespread criticism for sending it to voters in the primary instead of the general election. 

     Many critics saw it as a calculated and cynical move to take advantage of the traditionally much lower turnout in primary elections. 

     In 2018, the last non-presidential election year, turnout in the primary was 27% while the general election drew 65% of voters. Yesterday’s turnout statewide was 32%.