Governor Dennis Daugaard Reflects on Leading South Dakota
PIERRE, S.D. – Dennis Daugaard, the 32nd Governor of South Dakota, will serve his last day on January 5th. Daugaard spent a total of 22 years serving the people of South Dakota in Pierre.
First, six years as a state lawmaker, then eight years as Lieutenant Governor, and another eight years as Governor.
He tells us, whoever succeeds him will inherit a very busy schedule.
“In this job literally every half hour is blocked out,” said Daugaard.
The Governor’s responsibilities are wide ranging, from responding to disasters, to developing policy to wrangling a four and a half billion dollar budget, all while making public appearances around a comparatively large state.
“I couldn’t believe it when I first took over, why do you need someone full time to be your schedulers, well its because people around the state want the governor to come to their meeting to their community to hear about their issues, they want to see the governor when they’re in town then around those demands for accessibly you have the responsibility of running the government,” said Daugaard.
During his time in office, Governor Daugaard says job creation, greater efficiency in the government and a balanced budget are things he’s most proud of. Unlike his predecessor Mike Rounds, the two-term Governor has no plans to run for another office
“Linda and I are ready to be masters of our own schedule for a while. It’s been a long while since we’ve really had control of our own schedules,” said Daugaard, “So we are looking forward to that, and we’re both 65, so we are going to be at least semi-retired.”
The Governor says he plans to take a few months off then he will do something on a part time basis, and in his words “take a breather.”
“South Dakota is a great state, it’s great to be the leader of a state like South Dakota. It’s also a great place to live, so I’m looking forward to moving back home and enjoying the wide open spaces and the clean air, the safety and the friendly people as a citizen of this state not just as the governor,” said Daugaard.
Even if he wanted to run for governor again, he couldn’t because of term limits. Before being elected governor in 2010 Daugaard worked as the Executive Director of the Children’s Home Society of South Dakota.
The two term governor says he looks forward to spending time at the home he and his wife built on the family farm near Dell Rapids.