SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota State House and Senate will have some new faces.
“I was very honored and humbled that the good people of South Dakota put their trust in me to represent our district at the state level. That, it’s a little nerve-wracking, but I’m excited to get started,” said Republican Marsha Symens, Senator-elect for District 25.
“Certainly a humbling experience. Being a first time at this, you don’t know what’s going to happen. How things are going to work out, but I’ve been in Turner County all my life in 4-H and FFA, involved in activities,” said Republican Richard Vasgaard, Representative-elect for District 17.
The newly-elected legislators are already looking ahead to their time in Pierre.
“I campaigned a lot on my values because we don’t always know what’s going to come in front of us when we get to Pierre. I had a couple of constituents that had ideas and I’m going to look at those. Dig into them deeper and I want to help with those problems,” said Republican Erin Tobin, senator-elect for District 21.
“I think in South Dakota we should be promoting our agriculture here and our livestock production business in our state,” Symens said.
“I’ve been a part of ag my entire life,” Vasgaard said. “Agriculture has been good to me. I want to make certain that that is passed on to future generations and I want to be a voice for agriculture.”
Jennifer Keintz is the only newly-elected Democrat. She is going to be one of only 11 Democrats in the legislature; there will be 94 Republicans.
“I’m really excited to represent District 1, and this actually had for many years been a stronghold for Democrats in South Dakota, and that’s changed over the last couple of years,” she said. “Hard to say if it’s a trend in that direction or if it’s more related to the national level, but I’m really excited that people put their trust in me to represent our district.”
She’ll represent northeast South Dakota. She has her focus on health care as well as other issues.
“Making sure that we have the kinds of communities and job opportunities for young people to stay here and to come here and to help grow our rural area. Keeping our teachers in our area with fair pay,” Keintz said.
“People want to come here to live and raise their kids, and I want to make certain that we continue to provide that for them,” Vasgaard said.
We also reached out to Republican representative-elect Richard Thomason. He wasn’t available for an interview, but he did send us this statement:
“This campaign humbled me in so many ways from volunteers, to emotional and financial support, to words of encouragement and so much more. The hard work now begins as session is only weeks away. I plan to bring a fresh and new perspective to Pierre that resonates with the constituents of District 13 and the state of South Dakota. Again, I am humbled and honored to be serving this great state.”
To see the full South Dakota 2021 legislator listing, click here.