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|Governor of South Dakota|
|Residence||The Governor's Mansion (official) |
Watertown, South Dakota (private)
|Term length||Four years, renewable once|
|Inaugural holder||Arthur C. Mellette|
|Formation||Constitution of South Dakota|
The Governor of South Dakota is the head of the executive branch of the government of the U.S. state of South Dakota. The governor is elected to a four-year term in even years when there is no Presidential election. The current governor is Kristi Noem, a Republican who took office on January 5, 2019.
From 1889 until 1974, the governor served a two-year term. Until the 1940s, the governor was allowed to serve unlimited terms; since that time, governors have been limited to two consecutive terms. The gubernatorial term was extended to four years in 1974. The governor and Lieutenant Governor run on a single ticket.
Two of South Dakota's governors have left office before their term expired. In 1978, Richard F. Kneip resigned office six months before the expiration of his term to accept an appointment as United States Ambassador to Singapore. On April 19, 1993, George S. Mickelson was killed in a plane crash near Dubuque, Iowa; Mickelson is the only South Dakota governor to die in office. Mickelson and his father, George T. Mickelson, are the only father-son duo to serve as governor.
South Dakota's longest-serving governor was Bill Janklow. Janklow was the first governor to complete two four-year terms, and he did it twice, serving from 1979 to 1987 and again from 1995 to 2003. Janklow is also the only person to serve non-consecutive terms as governor.
Several governors have gone on to serve in other high offices. Coe I. Crawford, Peter Norbeck, William H. McMaster, William J. Bulow, Harlan J. Bushfield, and Mike Rounds followed their tenures as governor by serving in the United States Senate. Bill Janklow served briefly in the United States House of Representatives following his second stint as governor. Kristi Noem, is the first female Governor in South Dakota's history.
Of the 50 states, South Dakota currently holds the longest non-interrupted party control of the governorship. The Republican Party has controlled the South Dakota governorship since January 1, 1979.