Governor Dennis Daugaard is asking voters for another four year term in office. He kicked off his re-election campaign in Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Pierre. Daugaard credits his conservative values for successes over the last four years in office.
Dennis Daugaard says while he has led the state through some dark days with a Missouri River Flood, and a $127 Million structural deficit. There are brighter days ahead because of making tough choices.
“In my first budget I did what any family or business would do, I cut expenses. With a courageous legislature we cut spending by ten percent. I cut my own salary by 15 percent. I cut the cabinet and cut the staff and every agency of state government, says Daugaard.
Daugaard says three years later the state has a budget surplus. He also credits economic development efforts and judicial reforms among his other top accomplishments.
“We’re making the public safer, we’re holding offenders accountable still, and we’re saving money. We still have things to do in this area. We’re still rolling out reform. It’s not something that’s one and done,” says Daugaard. “It’s something that’s going to take a while to execute and to have an impact but we’re already starting to see some of that.”
Daugaard says South Dakota is one of 15 states that have recovered all of the jobs lost during the recession. He says he remained true to his values while making tough choices.
“It is too easy to allow the expediencies of the present to distract us from the values that will carry us into the future. It is too easy to make an exception – just this once – rather than face the tough choices,” says Daugaard.
“Over the past four years we have made those tough choices and stayed true to our values – South Dakota values.”
Daugaard says he remains a South Dakota farm boy at heart.
Two Democrats are in the race for governor – Susan Wismer and Joe Lowe have launched their campaigns.