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Howard challenges Johnson for US House

Dusty V Howard 2022.png
Josh Haiar
Dusty Johnson (left) and Taffy Howard (right) are running for the Republican nomination for South Dakota's at-large seat in the House

Republican voters will weigh in on candidates for South Dakota’s at-large representative in Congress.

Dusty Johnson is seeking a third term in the House and faces challenger Taffy Howard.

Johnson is a former chief-of-staff for Gov. Dennis Daugaard and has served on the Public Utilities Commission.

He was first elected to congress in 2018 and sits on the agriculture and transportation committees.

“We want to make sure that whoever we sent there is talking, again, not that South Dakota values are a monolith—but that my colleagues who maybe don’t understand what life is like in Redfield or Parkston or Freeman or Tea get a sense from me about how policies can affect South Dakota differently,” Johnson says. “That would be the first. Second is, frankly, I’ve gotten stuff done.”

A recent poll from South Dakota State University shows Johnson is on track for re-election. Fifty-three percent of Republican primary voters prefer Dusty Johnson over his opponent Taffy Howard. The poll shows Howard with a 17 percent voter preference ranking. Thirty percent of voters are not sure.

Howard is a Republican state lawmaker from the Black Hills. She’s spent 6 years in the South Dakota House on the budget committee.

“I had a lot of people reach out to me from across the state. They’ve been disappointed that we haven’t had our South Dakota values represented in DC. That is the primary driver—just disappointment in the representation that we have in DC," Howard says. "His votes have not been reflecting the values of the people in this state.”

Early voting is already underway. Primary election day is June 7. The winner will will face Libertarian candidate Collin Duprel in November.

The interviews were conducted by In the Moment with Lori Walsh.

Meet the candidates:

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.
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