Secretary of State-Elect Monae Johnson celebrates her Nov. 8, 2022, election victory. Behind Johnson (from left) stands her campaign manager, Gretchen Weible, and Weible’s husband Rick Weible. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)
Gov. Kristi Noem is appointing Monae Johnson as secretary of state, effective Monday.
Current Secretary of State Steve Barnett is resigning from the role ahead of the official end of his term on Jan. 2. He will take over as general manager of the South Dakota Rural Electric Association.
Johnson beat Barnett for the Republican Party’s nomination last summer at the party’s state convention, and she won the general election in November.
“Monae Johnson has the confidence of the people of South Dakota,” Noem said in a news release. “She was elected because of her promise to focus on election integrity, and I look forward to working with her on those efforts.”
After serving the remaining month of Barnett’s term, Johnson will begin her own four-year term.
“I am truly grateful to Governor Noem for the opportunity to finish the current term as secretary of state, and to the people of South Dakota for trusting me to serve in the role for the next four years,” Johnson said in the news release.
Johnson campaigned as a candidate who would secure South Dakota’s elections. She told South Dakota Searchlight she plans to do that by pushing for a post-election audit and suggesting auditors hand-count ballots. She also dodged questioning by the Searchlight and several other media outlets about her belief in the validity of the 2020 election.
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