South Dakota voters elect late candidate


Hunter Dunteman

Results from last night’s South Dakota midterm elections give way to usher in the state’s 92nd legislature.

Citizens took to the polls to vote for who they wanted to represent their ideas on a state level — but one South Dakota legislative district won’t be represented by the man who won the race.

Voters in District 31, which revolves around Spearfish, Lead and the western Black Hills, elected incumbent Rep. Charles Turbiville, who passed away in his home on Oct. 20.

Turbiville, who was also serving as the mayor of Deadwood at the time of passing, remained on the ballot due to South Dakota election laws which prevent candidate withdrawals from a general election after a certain date. In 2018, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs set that date as Aug. 7.

The District 31 House race saw Turbiville receive 28 percent of the vote, topped only by fellow Republican incumbent Timothy Johns, who received 38 percent, according to numbers released by Krebs.

But Turbiville wasn’t the only late politician named on the ballot this year, either.

District 19 House candidate John Koch passed away while in Texas in late-October, also beyond the withdrawal deadline. Koch did not win the seat.

Governor Dennis Daugaard released a statement following the death of Turbiville, expressing sorrow and ordering flags to be flown at half-staff.

Daugaard also opted not to appoint a replacement for Turbiville in a 2019-20 term.

Governor-elect Kristi Noem will have the power to make an appointment to Turbiville’s seat in the House upon her taking office as Governor on Jan. 5, 2019.