Dusty Johnson wins; fends off third party challenger
Representative Dusty Johnson, who has not faced a Democrat since his initial bid for office in 2018, managed to fend off a challenge from a Libertarian candidate.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson has been re-elected to a third term in the United States House, defeating Libertarian Collin Duprel. The race was called shortly after polls closed west river.
Johnson, 46, managed to fend off a single Libertarian challenger for the second election cycle in a row. But Duprel, a Spearfish native, put together a much more competitive bid for the seat than the Libertarian candidate who came before him, Randy Luallin.
In the lone debate of the race with South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB), Duprel criticized a number of votes that Johnson has taken in Congress, particularly on social issues and spending. Additionally, Duprel attended a number of campaign events across the state, a stark contrast from other statewide Libertarian candidates on the ballot in recent years.
Ultimately, it was not enough to overcome Johnson, who enjoys a relatively high approval rating amongst South Dakotans, a much higher name recognition, and a larger campaign war chest.
Throughout his political career, Johnson has sought to develop a reputation for himself as a Republican willing to work across the aisle with Democrats to get things done. He points to his time in Congress and the bills he has passed as proof of that.
With Republicans projected to take the majority in the U.S. House this year, Johnson will likely be governing from the majority for the first time since elected to Congress.
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