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Changes are coming to state capitols across the country and South Dakota will be no different. A combination of retirements, term limits, redistricting changes and primary defeats has led to a significant amount of turnover in our State Legislature. South Dakota will swear in 33 first-time legislators in 2023, which amounts to nearly one-third of the seats. Sioux Falls alone will be represented by 14 first-time legislators. Other than welcoming rookie legislators to Pierre, the demographic composition of the legislature won’t change significantly.
The 2022 general election saw 60% of registered voters participate, marking the lowest voter turnout since 2014. Thirty-one Republicans and four Democrats were elected to the Senate – a gain of one seat for the Democrats. Though they lost a seat, Republicans will still enjoy a supermajority in the Senate. On the other side of the hall, House Republicans picked up one seat with 63 Republicans and 7 Democrats winning election to the House. Overall, the legislature will be comprised of 94 Republicans and 11 Democrats – the same ratio as the past two years.
In addition, South Dakota maintained its ratio of male to female legislators. Thirty women were elected to the legislature in 2022, (8 in the Senate and 22 in the House), a number that matches the results of 2020.
33 legislators are taking office for the first time
63 legislators re-elected to currently held seat
7 legislators crossover to a seat in opposite chamber
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