HURON – Voter turnout was low across the state and was less than 30% in Beadle County at Tuesday’s primary election, but those voters chose Judy Rodacker as the county’s new Register of Deeds and selected Dennis Meyer to move to the general election in the race for District 5 County Commissioner.
Rodacker, who currently works in the ROD office, defeated fellow ROD employee Kelley Haaland 685 votes (43%) to 498 votes (31%) in primary balloting. Scott Beck, another county employee, was third with 407 votes (26%).
As no Democratic candidate filed for the fall election, Rodacker will be sworn in as the next Beadle County Register of Deeds in January.
Meyer defeated Gary Wegter 354 votes to 74, an 83% to 17% margin, handily winning all three precincts in District 5 by similar amounts. Meyer will face Democrat incumbent Larry Mattke in November for the seat on the commission.
Other county balloting showed Gary Jones narrowly winning the precinct committeeman for Precinct 3, 42 votes to 40 for Aaron Pilcher. Larry Larson ended with 30 votes and Duane Christensen had 26 in the race.
In the other three precinct-level races, Doug Solem defeated Lance Calkins 204-32 for the precinct committeeman role in Precinct 5; Patricia Jones outdistanced Kristle Christensen 78-42 for the precinct committeewoman in Precinct 3; while Michelle Chase downed Amanda Haeder 97-70 for the precinct committeewoman race in Precinct 6 and Camron Weber squeezed past Randi Papka 35 to 33 in the Precinct 8 committeewoman race.
While votes may have been close in the precinct committeeman or committeewoman votes, a representative from the Secretary of State's office clarified that those races do not qualify for a recount in state election law.
A total of 2,910 ballots were cast in Beadle County, of the 9,830 eligible voters, for a turnout of 29.6%.
That number was slightly behind the turnout in the state, which saw 32% of its 582,359 voters mark ballots in the primary election.
Statewide, Amendment C, the ballot issue pressed into the primary election, was soundly defeated two to one (67% to 33%). If approved the amendment would have required a 60% threshold on voter-initiated measures where $10 million in new spending over a five-year period, or an equal amount of new taxes were considered.
Other statewide voting saw U.S. Senator John Thune handily win his primary election, scoring 72% of the vote to easily outdistance Bruce Whalen with 20% and Mark Mowry with 7%.
Incumbent U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson was successful in his primary bid, as he downed Taffy Howard 59% to 41% in their race, while Governor Kristi Noem dispatched challenger Steven Haugaard 76% to 24% in their primary race.
Both Thune and Noem face Democratic challengers in the fall election, while Johnson does not and will be returned to Washington D.C. for another two-year term in January.
The general election will take place on November 8.