List of governors of South Dakota

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The governor of South Dakota is the head of government of the U.S. state of South Dakota. The current Governor is Republican Kristi Noem, serving since 2019. The Governor has the power to sign or veto laws, and to call the Legislative Assembly into emergency session. They have an ex officio South Dakota Governor's Residence. The governor may only serve two terms consecutively, and becomes eligible for reelection after four years out of office.[1] South Dakota is a strongly Republican state; only six Governors have not been members of that party and the governorship has been held by Republicans since 1979, the longest Republican streak and the longest overall streak of one party control in the country.

Governors of Dakota Territory

Governors of South Dakota

Political party

      Republican (27)       Populist (1)       Democratic (5)

# Governor
(birth and death)
Took office Left office Party City elected from Lieutenant Governor Notes
1 Governor Arthur C Mellette.jpg style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Arthur C. Mellette
(1842–1896)
March 22, 1889 January 3, 1893 Republican Watertown style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  James H. Fletcher
George H. Hoffman
[2]
2 Charles H. Sheldon.jpg style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Charles H. Sheldon
(1840–1898)
January 3, 1893 January 1, 1897 Republican Pierpont style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Charles N. Herreid
3 Andrew E. Lee.jpg style="background-color:#4682B4;" width=10px | ;"|  Andrew E. Lee
(1847–1934)
January 1, 1897 January 8, 1901 Populist Vermillion style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Daniel T. Hindman
John T. Kean
4 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Charles N. Herreid
(1857–1928)
January 8, 1901 January 3, 1905 Republican Eureka style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  George W. Snow
5 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Samuel H. Elrod
(1856–1935)
January 3, 1905 January 8, 1907 Republican Clark style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  John E. McDougall
6 Crawfordcoe.jpg style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Coe I. Crawford
(1858–1944)
January 8, 1907 January 5, 1909 Republican Huron style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Howard C. Shober
7 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Robert S. Vessey
(1858–1929)
January 5, 1909 January 7, 1913 Republican Wessington Springs style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Howard C. Shober
Frank M. Byrne
8 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Frank M. Byrne
(1858–1927)
January 7, 1913 January 2, 1917 Republican Faulkton style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Edward Lincoln Abel
Peter Norbeck
[3]
9 PeterNorbeck R-SD.jpg style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Peter Norbeck
(1870–1936)
January 2, 1917 January 4, 1921 Republican Redfield style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  William H. McMaster
10 WHMcMaster.jpg style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  William H. McMaster
(1877–1968)
January 4, 1921 January 6, 1925 Republican Yankton style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Carl Gunderson
11 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Carl Gunderson
(1864–1933)
January 6, 1925 January 4, 1927 Republican Mitchell style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Alva Clark Forney
12 75px style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | ;"|  William J. Bulow
(1869–1960)
January 4, 1927 January 6, 1931 Democratic Beresford style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Hyatt E. Covey (Republican)
Clarence E. Coyne (Republican)
John T. Grigsby (Democratic)
13 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Warren Green
(1869–1945)
January 6, 1931 January 3, 1933 Republican Hazel style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Odell K. Whitney
14 75px style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | ;"|  Tom Berry
(1879–1951)
January 3, 1933 January 5, 1937 Democratic Belvidere style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | ;"|  Hans Ustrud
Robert Peterson
15 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Leslie Jensen
(1892–1964)
January 5, 1937 January 3, 1939 Republican Hot Springs style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Donald McMurchie
16 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Harlan J. Bushfield
(1882–1948)
January 3, 1939 January 5, 1943 Republican Miller style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Donald McMurchie
A. C. Miller
17 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Merrell Q. Sharpe
(1888–1962)
January 5, 1943 January 7, 1947 Republican Kennebec style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  A. C. Miller
Sioux K. Grigsby
18 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  George T. Mickelson
(1903–1965)
January 7, 1947 January 2, 1951 Republican Selby style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Sioux K. Grigsby
Rex A. Terry
19 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Sigurd Anderson
(1904–1990)
January 2, 1951 January 4, 1955 Republican Webster style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Rex A. Terry
20 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Joe Foss
(1915–2003)
January 4, 1955 January 6, 1959 Republican Sioux Falls style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  L. Roy Houck
21 75px style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | ;"|  Ralph Herseth
(1909–1969)
January 6, 1959 January 3, 1961 Democratic Houghton style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  John F. Lindley
22 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Archie M. Gubbrud
(1910–1987)
January 3, 1961 January 5, 1965 Republican Alcester style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Joseph H. Bottum
Nils Boe
23 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Nils Boe
(1913–1992)
January 5, 1965 January 7, 1969 Republican Sioux Falls style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Lem Overpeck
24 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Frank Farrar
(1929–2021)
January 7, 1969 January 5, 1971 Republican Britton style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  James Abdnor
25 75px style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | ;"|  Dick Kneip
(1933–1987)
January 5, 1971 July 24, 1978 Democratic Salem style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | ;"|  William Dougherty
Harvey L. Wollman
[4]
26 75px style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | ;"|  Harvey L. Wollman
(b. 1935)
July 24, 1978 January 1, 1979 Democratic Hitchcock Vacant
27 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Bill Janklow
(1939–2012)
January 1, 1979 January 6, 1987 Republican Flandreau style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Lowell C. Hansen II
28 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  George S. Mickelson
(1941–1993)
January 6, 1987 April 19, 1993 Republican Brookings style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Walter Dale Miller [5]
29 Walter Miller.png style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Walter Dale Miller
(1925–2015)
April 19, 1993 January 7, 1995 Republican New Underwood style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Steve T. Kirby
30 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Bill Janklow
(1939–2012)
January 7, 1995 January 7, 2003 Republican Brandon style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Carole Hillard
31 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Mike Rounds
(b. 1954)
January 7, 2003 January 8, 2011 Republican Pierre style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Dennis Daugaard
32 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Dennis Daugaard
(b. 1953)
January 8, 2011 January 5, 2019 Republican Garretson style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Matt Michels
33 Kristi L. Noem 113th Congress.jpg style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Kristi Noem
(b. 1971)
January 5, 2019 Incumbent[6] Republican Castlewood style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | ;"|  Larry Rhoden

Succession

Other high offices held

This is a table of congressional seats, other federal offices, and other governorships held by governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented South Dakota except where noted. * denotes those offices which the governor resigned to take.

Governor Gubernatorial term U.S. Congress Other offices held
House Senate
Coe I. Crawford 1907–1909 S
Peter Norbeck 1917–1921 S
William H. McMaster 1921–1925 S
William J. Bulow 1927–1931 S
Harlan J. Bushfield 1939–1943 S
Richard F. Kneip 1971–1978 United States Ambassador to Singapore*
Bill Janklow 1979–1987
1995–2003
H
Mike Rounds 2003–2011 S
Kristi Noem 2019–present H

Notes

  1. "§ 2". South Dakota Constitution. pp. Article IV, § 2. Retrieved 28 July 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Mellette was the final governor of the Dakota Territory prior to his election as the first Governor of South Dakota.
  3. Won over James Wallace McCarter
  4. Kneip resigned to become Ambassador to Singapore on July 24, 1978; he was succeeded by Harvey L. Wollman.
  5. Mickelson was killed in a plane crash on April 19, 1993; he was succeeded by Walter Dale Miller.
  6. Noem's first term expires on January 7, 2023.

See also