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Former State Senator Justin Cronin Has Died


Former State Senator Justin Cronin has died. 


The Republican from Gettysburg died at the age of forty. He served in the statehouse for eleven years. 

Senator Cronin was first elected to the South Dakota House in 2008, where he served from 2009 to 2016. During that time he worked his way up to both House assistant majority leader and chair of the house appropriations committee. That committee sets the state budget. 


Republican State Senator Ryan Maher served on the appropriations committee with Cronin. He says the late Senator was highly intelligent and a fun guy.  


“He always had a story of a joke or something to tell,” Maher says. “It’s sad. It’s hard to believe he’s gone. He could remember numbers and he could remember details. We’d be having conversations, like, ‘No, that was in ’14 we did this. This would be in ’15 that we did that.’ He could remember stuff like none other.” 


Maher says Cronin was a wealth of institutional knowledge. 


Cronin resigned from his Senate seat after the 2019 legislative session. 


Republican Representative Jean Hunhoff also served on the appropriations committee with him. She says he brought a rural perspective to the process. Even after he resigned, she says he was involved. 


“Even though when he was no longer in the legislature he stayed in touch with many of his colleagues and continue to provide ideas and challenge all of us. Are we doing the right thing? Is that the best thing to do? He was a—in my perspective—a very young man, very vibrant. He did so much. He’s going to have a lasting legacy on many of us that served with him.” 


Governor Kristi Noem ordered that flags at the South Dakota State Capitol be flown at half-staff from sunrise until sundown on Thursday, November 19. 


That’s the date of his funeral, which is being held at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Gettysburg.