Rhonda Milstead of Hartford will be the new state representative for District 9 in the South Dakota Legislature, Governor-elect Kristi Noem announced Friday.
Milstead replaces Deb Peters of Hartford, who won election to the House seat but later declared she wouldn’t take the oath of office.
Milstead, 61, has worked for the Sioux Falls Board of Realtors for 16 years as executive officer and has run various small businesses, including ownership and operation of Falls Overlook Cafe. She takes the legislative oath January 7, according to the news release from Noem’s transition office.
This is the second legislative vacancy Noem has filled before she takes office as governor January 5.
On December 19, Noem’s office announced she chose Dayle Hammock of Spearfish for a District 31 House seat that became vacant when Rep. Chuck Turbiville of Deadwood died October 20. It was too late to remove his name from the November 6 ballot.
Regarding Milstead, Noem said Friday: “State legislators must be focused on serving the people in their district, and I believe Rhonda will effectively represent the people of District 9 with energy and determination.”
Her husband is Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead.
Regarding Hammock, Noem thanked Lawrence County citizens for their perspectives: “Dayle’s history of community involvement and service-oriented leadership will position him well to succeed in the state Legislature. I am confident he will serve as an effective representative for his district.”
Hammock, 72, previously lived at Sturgis and was a Meade County Commission member with decades in law enforcement. The Lawrence County Republican central committee nominated him over others who wanted the spot, including several former legislators.
Peters, 44, had served six years in the state House of Representatives and the past eight years in the state Senate. Peters recently completed a one-year presidency for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Shortly after the election, she accepted a post with SDAHO, a health care advocacy organization now headed by another former lawmaker, Tim Rave.