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Johnson wins House reelection bid

Rep. Dusty Johnson poses for a photo with his family on election night in 2022.
Lee Strubinger
Rep. Dusty Johnson poses for a photo with his family on election night in 2022.

Rep. Dusty Johnson has won another two-year term representing South Dakota in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Republican incumbent was heavily favored going into Tuesday's election. His sole challenger was Libertarian Collin Duprel. Democrats did not field a candidate in the race.

The Associated Press called the race for Johnson about 45 minutes after polls closed West River.

Johnson said his win and other GOP victories are a sign Americans are asking Republicans to “step up” in Washington.

“Republicans have got to make sure we don’t squander this opportunity," Johnson said. "Anger, complaining, fighting, that doesn’t solve anyone’s problems. We can’t get distracted by the shiny objects. We have to get our sleeves up and get to work. I’m going to be one of the leading voices telling us not to lose our way, and let’s get things done.”

Johnson was elected to the South Dakota Public Utilites Commission in 2004, and later served in Gov. Dennis Daugaard's administration. South Dakotans first elected him to the U.S. House in 2018, filling the seat vacated by Kristi Noem after she ran for governor.

Johnson campaigned on his fiscally conservative record. He has been a vocal opponent of many Democratic fiscal policies, and has pinned inflation issues on the Biden Administration. Yet Johnson also touted his ability to work across the aisle, noting his involvement in the bipartisan "Problem Solvers Caucus."

Duprel's Libertarian values tracked closely to Johnson's when it came to fiscal issues like tax policy. However, the two differed pointedly on social issues. In the SDPB House debate, Duprel argued in favor of gay marriage and abortion rights.

Duprel said he is proud he offered South Dakotans another choice – in his case, as a third party candidate.

"You know, it was never about me, it was always about the people," Duprel said. "To be able to have been the voice of so many South Dakotans was really gratifying.”

Josh Chilson is the news director at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. A Florence, S.D. native, Josh graduated with a journalism degree from South Dakota State University. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and videographer, and most recently as managing editor for Dakota News Now. Josh is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.
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