ENG: Dennis M. Daugaard (born June 11, 1953) is an American politician. He is the 32nd Governor of South Dakota. Daugaard was raised on a family farm near Garretson, South Dakota by his mother and father who were both deaf. The family descends from the Scandinavians of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. While growing up, sign language was the main method of communication in his home. Daugaard went to a one-room country school as a child but then attended high school in the town of Dell Rapids and graduated in 1971. Daugaard then attended the University of South Dakota in Vermillion where he was advised by William O. Farber. Professor Farber also advised former USD students Tom Brokaw and Al Neuharth. Daugaard graduated USD in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in Government and went on to attend the prestigious Northwestern University School of Law where he earned a Juris Doctor in 1978. Daugaard has worked in the past as an attorney in Chicago, Illinois from 1978 to 1981, as an executive banker in Sioux Falls, South Dakota from 1981 to 1990, as a South Dakota State Senator from 1997 to 2003, as South Dakota's Lietenant Governor from 2003 to 2011, and for the Children's Home Society of South Dakota as Development Director from 1990 to 2002 and as Executive Director from 2002 to 2009. Daugaard and his wife, Linda, have been married since 1981 and have three children: Laura, who is married to Jay Mitchell; Sara, who is married to Tony Venhuizen; and Christopher. Daugaard served as a member of the South Dakota State Senate from 1997 to 2003. He was elected in 2002 on a ticket with Governor Mike Rounds, and the two were re-elected in 2006. As a lietenant governor under the South Dakota Constitution, Daugaard served as the President of the South Dakota Senate. In addition, he served as the chair of the Workers' Compensation Advisory Council which reviews and makes recommendations regarding South Dakota's worker compensation program. While serving as lieutenant governor, Daugaard also fulfilled other duties as assigned by the governor and delegated by the state constitution. He served as a member of a commission that dealt with state constitutional amendments and was chairman of a state task force that considered options which would reduce the number of South Dakotans lacking health insurance coverage. In 2009, Daugaard promoted legislation to create the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority, which will promote economic development in Rapid City and other areas surrounding Ellsworth Air Force Base in western South Dakota. Daugaard has also promoted the Honor Flight program, which honors World War II veterans. After serving two consecutive terms as lieutenant governor in the administration of South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds, Daugaard stepped forward to be a Republican gubernatorial nominee in 2010 and won the primary election against several other candidates. Daugaard chose Matt Michels to join his campaign as the lieutenant governor candidate. The Daugaard and Michels gubernatorial ticket beat Democratic rival Scott Heidepriem by 61.5% to 38.5% in the November 2010 general election.
May 6th, 2011