Dennis Daugaard is the current and 32nd Governor of South Dakota. He assumed office on January 8, 2011 alongside Lieutenant Governor Matt Michaels as the successor of Mike Rounds. Formerly, he was Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota from January 7, 2003 to January 8, 2011.

Early Life and Education

Dennis Daugaard was born on June 11, 1953 to father Raymond Victor and mother Florence Margaret in Garretson, South Dakota. Raised by deaf parents in a farm, Daugaard joined a country school for primary education. Later, he went to Dell Rapids for complete high school education.

Graduating from high school in 1971, Daugaard joined the University of South Dakota for undergraduate studies in government. Later, he entered Northwestern University for a JD.

Personal Life

Dannis Daugard with his wife Linda Daugard.
Dannis Daugard with his wife Linda Daugard.

Dennis Daugaard is married to Linda Daugaard. The couple has three children: Christopher, Laura and Sara Daugaard.


While Dennis was a law student at Northwestern University, he had to work hard for living and make his way through school. Hence, Daugaard moved from job to job at that point. He was a bus driver, an ASL interpreter, a security guard and a law clerk. As he completed graduation, the days didn’t seem as hard as they had been. Starting in 1978, the year of Daugaard’s graduation, he worked as an Illinois-based attorney until 1981. Then, he moved to South Dakota and took up a job as an executive banker.

Working as a banker for 9 years, Daugaard joined Children’s Home Society as a development director. In 2002, he was promoted to executive director and held the office until 2009. In the meantime, Daugaard also served as a state senator. In 1996, he defeated Democrat Mark Rogen with 59.13% votes to grab a seat at the South Dakota Senate. Likewise, in 1998 and 2000, Dennis defeated Mark Anderson and Donald Beaner with 62.38% and 66.65% votes. Leaving the State Senate in 2003, Dennis Daugaard joined Governor Mike Rounds’ administration as Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota.

After serving two terms alongside Mike Rounds in Governor’s office, Daugaard decided to run for 2010 Gubernatorial Election. He easily gained the Republican nomination with 50.42% votes, defeating Scott Munsterman, Dave Knudson, Gordon Howie and Ken Knuppe. In the general election, Daugaard had a landslide victory against Democrat Scott Heidepriem with 61.51% votes. As the first four-year term came to an end, Daugaard sought for another term in Governor’s office and gained another easy Republican nomination against Lora Hubbel with a margin of more than 45,000 votes out of 75,000 turnouts. In the general election, Dennis was evidently a favorite among the voters – he received 70.47% votes to win Governor’s office.

Dennis Daugaard’s tenure finished in 2018.

Donald Trump and Dennis Daugaard

Although Dennis Daugaard and Donald Trump represent the same party, they vastly differ in their ideologies. Not having a likening for President Trump, Governor Daugaard has repeatedly opposed him. He wrote on twitter: Enough is enough. Donald Trump should withdraw in favor of Governor Mike Pence. This election is too important.


Categories: Biography

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