Chris Rounds on his dad’s victory

Rebecca Schultze

Rebecca Schultze

SDSU senior Chris Rounds says that his daily life will probably stay the same now that his father, Mike Rounds, is South Dakota’s governor-elect.

One year ago today, Nov. 6, 2001, Mike Rounds called his son and said “Christopher, we’re going to do it,” referring to his decision to run for South Dakota governor. Chris Rounds said that although he was unsure about the amount of work it would take, he was excited about the decision.

At 10 p.m. on election night, “exciting” was the word that Chris Rounds used to describe the atmosphere at the Ramkota Inn in Pierre, where his father had just finished his acceptance speech.

“Everybody is excited,” Chris Rounds said. “For the last hour there’s been people doing cheers and chants.”

About 700 people packed the largest room in the convention center, Chris Rounds said.

Erika Rounds, a senior business economics major at SDSU, is Chris Rounds’ cousin. She called last night’s activities a “big family reunion.”

Mike Rounds has nine brothers and one sister, and it was his family who initially got the campaign going.

“It’s been very exciting for all of us,” Erika Rounds said. “We stick together.”

Chris Rounds, the oldest of four children, is a business economics major at SDSU. He has been traveling with his father, helping out where he was needed.

Chris Rounds said that the campaign has been the main topic of discussion in his family for the last year. Usually when he sees the senior Rounds, it’s at a campaign event. However, pheasant season gave them some bonding time away from politics.

“We went hunting one day last weekend,” Chris Rounds said. “He took the day off.”

Now that the election is over, the Rounds will have to decide how to deal with the move to the Governor’s Mansion which is only about 10 blocks from the home they recently bought, in which they plan to spend their retirement.

Chris Rounds said his parents will probably decide in the next few weeks where home will be.

Mike Rounds got his degree in political science from SDSU. He is a life-long resident of Pierre, which is why his election night activities were held there instead of Sioux Falls where the other major Republican candidates gathered to watch the results roll in.

He is a partner in Fischer, Rounds & Associates, Inc., an insurance and real estate agency. His wife, Jean, is an administrative assistant for the Department of Transportation.