Republicans lose a seat in state Senate, gain in the already deeply red House

By: - November 9, 2022 11:58 am

The makeup of South Dakota’s deeply red legislature didn’t change much Tuesday night, although some races could see a recount.

The 70-person House of Representatives has seen the number of Democrats steadily drop from 29 in 1992 to just seven now. Democrats managed to squeeze out a win in the 35-person senate, bringing the caucus of three to four for the upcoming session. 

A handful of races have the potential for a recount, according to the Secretary of State’s Office, including three with Democratic candidates

Democrats Linda Duba and Kadyn Wittman both pulled off wins in District 15. But  Wittman and Republican Joni Tschetter both received 25% of the vote – with only 97 more votes to Wittman.

District 18 Republican Julie Auch is currently tallied at 4,663 votes – with would-be incumbent Democrat Ryan Cwach closely behind at 4,508 votes. 

Additionally, Incumbent Democrat Rep. Oren Lesmeister, of District 28A, only has 43 votes over challenger Republican Ralph Lyon. Lesmeister has a seat on the House Agriculture Committee.

Candidates requesting a recount must submit a petition to their county auditor within three days following the state canvass. That’s scheduled to convene November 15.  Upon the filing of a petition, recounts must be completed within 14 days.

South Dakota Searchlight has reached out to the candidates with potential recounts. None immediately returned messages seeking comment.

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Joshua Haiar
Joshua Haiar

Joshua Haiar is a reporter based in Sioux Falls. Born and raised in Mitchell, he joined the Navy as a public affairs specialist after high school and then earned a degree from the University of South Dakota. Prior to joining South Dakota Searchlight, Joshua worked for five years as a multimedia specialist and journalist with South Dakota Public Broadcasting.