The SDWC Top 10 Political stories of 2014: #4 Dennis Daugaard’s quiet landslide.
For a politician, Governor Dennis Daugaard is not a flashy showman.
He tends to be quieter, and a bit more introspective in comparison to a politician such as Bill Janklow who led state government for many years. But make no mistake, Governor Daugaard has led government, and based on how South Dakota weathered and came back from the recession that the country faced, he has led it well.
He came into his first term governing frugally and conservatively. He was concerned with raising bond ratings, paying off the state’s credit cards, and all those things that people should do when they have money, but usually don’t.
In fact, Governor Daugaard has run South Dakota so well, South Dakota hit the top of many lists in 2012 and 2013. # 1 on Barrons Best Run State list for 2012. For 2013 #1 America’s Top State for Business for CNBC, #1 Best State for Business & Career for Forbes Magazine, #1 Business Climate for US Chamber, #3 best state to retire bankrate.com, #5 best volunteering state – Corp. for Nat’l & Community Svc. #2 low unemployment CNN Money, and for State Retirement System Funding as of 2013, South Dakota was at 103%.
When parts of the state were hit with flooding, Governor Daugaard knew when to lead, and also knew when to let others take the lead. When faced with not enough qualified workers for jobs, Daugaard addressed the need for a skilled workforce through the South Dakota Workforce Initiative. He’s been on the road as a South Dakota promoter, as a presenter, and ambassador for offering South Dakota’s best for business and agriculture.
He’s been a tremendously steady hand at the wheel. So much so that when faced with challengers, they were utterly crushed. Within the GOP, The only one foolish enough to think of challenging him failed to break 20%. And Democrats fared about as well.
Democrats only interested parties were a former California Republican mayor as an outsider, and a third tier legislator as an insider for challengers. The insider won, and went on to lose to Daugaard who won receiving a record 70.47% of the vote to the Democrat’s 25.43%
It was a complete landslide in every sense of the word, and broke nearly every record in the book, save for receiving the greatest number of votes in state history. But receiving the largest percentage of the vote in state history was still tremendous and noteworthy. Especially for a Governor who best can be described as introspective, and visionary in his competence, and attention to the bottom line.
The quiet landslide he received in the 2014 election is testament to the fact that such a strong majority recognized the job he was doing, and rewarded him in kind for his good works.
In politics, it’s kind of a nice change of pace.