New pro tem names heads of S.D. Senate panels

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Pierre Capitol building legislature

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — There will be different faces running nearly all of the South Dakota Senate committees for the 2021 legislative session.

Senator Lee Schoenbeck announced chairs and vice chairs Monday. He was chosen Friday as Senate president pro tem in a private meeting of Senate Republicans, replacing Brock Greenfield of Clark. Republicans will hold 32 of 35 Senate seats when the ’21 session opens January 12.

One Senate committee will have the same chair. Blake Curd of Sioux Falls will again head Education.

Schoenbeck, a lawyer, said Monday he tried to align senators where their skills and background seemed to fit best. Schoenbeck said he didn’t look at chairs from the 2019-20 term when he chose.

Gary Cammack of Union Center, the new Senate Republican leader, will run State Affairs. As chair, the rancher and store owner succeeds Bob Ewing of Spearfish, who was term-limited and couldn’t seek re-election as a senator. As leader, Cammack succeeds Kris Langer of Dell Rapids, who didn’t seek re-election.

Herman Otten of Tea, who is moving from the House, will chair Local Government. The former mayor has chaired the House Local Government panel. He succeeds Phil Jensen of Rapid City, who was term-limited as a senator and won a House seat.

Mary Duvall of Pierre, who is moving from the House, will chair Transportation. She has chaired the House Transportation Committee. The former Farm Bureau lobbyist succeeds Ernie Otten of Tea, who was term-limited as a senator and won a House seat.

Timothy Johns of Lead, who is moving from the House, will chair Taxation. The lawyer and retired circuit judge succeeds Jeff Monroe of Pierre, who was term-limited as a senator and lost in a House Republican primary.

Wayne Steinhauer of Hartford will chair Health and Human Services. The business owner succeeds Deb Soholt of Sioux Falls, who was term-limited and didn’t seek a House seat.

Art Rusch of Vermillion will chair Judiciary. The lawyer and retired circuit judge succeeds Lance Russell of Hot Springs, who didn’t seek re-election to the Senate.

V.J. Smith of Brookings will chair Agriculture and Natural Resources. The retired university alumni director succeeds Cammack.

Casey Crabtree of Madison, a new senator, will chair Commerce and Energy. The director of economic development for Heartland Consumer Power District, he succeeds Jim Stalzer of Sioux Falls, who was re-elected.

Jean Hunhoff of Yankton, who returns to the Senate from the House, will chair Appropriations. The long-time home healthcare director succeeds John Wiik of Big Stone City, who was re-elected.

Kyle Schoenfish of Scotland will chair Government Operations and Audit. The certified public accountant succeeds Ryan Maher of Isabel, who was re-elected.

Jim Bolin of Canton will chair Retirement Laws. The retired educator succeeds Jim White of Huron, who was term-limited as a senator and didn’t seek a House seat.

David Johnson of Rapid City, who is moving from the House, will chair Military and Veterans Affairs. The arborist succeeds Bolin.

The House of Representatives Republicans haven’t chosen their leadership yet. Republicans will hold 61 of 70 House seats.

Senate vice chairs will be:

Education, Schoenfish.

State Affairs, Mike Diedrich of Rapid City, a lawyer who’s moving from the House.

Taxation, Marsha Symens of Dell Rapids, a business person/educator and new senator.

Health and Human Services, Erin Tobin of Winner, a healthcare professional and new senator.

Judiciary, Helene Duhamel of Rapid City, a former news anchor and law enforcement publicist.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, Joshua Klumb of Mount Vernon, an ag producer.

Commerce and Energy, Schoenbeck.

Appropriations, Bryan Breitling of Miller, a healthcare administrator and new senator.

Government Operations and Audit, David Wheeler of Huron, a lawyer and new senator.

Retirement Laws, Larry Zikmund of Sioux Falls, a retired educator who’s moving from the House.

Military and Veterans Affairs, Jessica Castleberry of Rapid City, who owns several preschools.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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