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Klumb, Koth, Miskimins voted to District 20 Legislature

District 20 House of Representative candidate Paul Miskimins speaks during a District 20 candidate forum earlier this month at Mitchell Technical Institute's amphitheater. (Matt Gade / Republic)1 / 3
District 20 House of Representative candidate Lance Koth speaks during a District 20 candidate forum earlier this month at Mitchell Technical Institute's amphitheater. (Matt Gade / Republic)2 / 3
State Sen. Joshua Klumb, of Mount Vernon, speaks at a cracker barrel session in 2017 at City Hall. (Republic file photo)3 / 3

The three Republicans on the ballot in District 20 for the South Dakota Legislature cruised to victory Tuesday.

Mount Vernon's Josh Klumb locked up a return to the state Senate, while Paul Miskimins and Lance Koth, both of Mitchell, are bound for the state House for the first time.

In the Senate race, Klumb received 72 percent of the vote, with 6,606 votes, while Miller received 2,507 votes in the race, or 28 percent of the vote. In the House, Miskimins claimed 5,429 votes, or 33 percent of the vote, while Koth had 4,756 votes, or 29 percent. As for the Democrats, Ione Klinger received 20 percent of the vote, or 3,297 votes, while Jim Schorzmann received 18 percent, or 2,866 votes.

Klumb widened his victory gap compared to the 2016 election, when he won with 64 percent of the vote. Klumb, 34, said he was thankful that the voters decided to send him back to Pierre for a second term in the state Senate and a third straight Legislative term.

"I appreciate that they were trusting of me to carry on with my work in the Senate," he said. "I'm looking forward to working with the rest of the House and the Legislature and making South Dakota as strong of a state as possible."

Klumb, a farmer, said he worked hard and got out to meet voters. He said he never met his opponent Miller — a professor and director of theater at Dakota Wesleyan University — face-to-face during the campaign.

"People know me, and I want to make sure that I'm making the best decisions I can for this district and its future," he said.

Klumb said he will be interested in a possible leadership position in the Senate but will see how things shake out with that.

"It's something that has been on my mind," he said.

Newcomers land House seats

Both Miskimins and Koth were appreciative of the support in their first opportunities to run for office.

"It was just a good campaign and I think there were a lot of good qualities about everyone involved in the race," Miskimins said. "That is something I think District 20 should be proud of."

Miskimins, a longtime dentist in Mitchell, said he was protecting against a "fourth-quarter comeback" from his opponents while watching the results at The Depot Pub and Grille in Mitchell. He was also celebrating his 66th birthday on Tuesday.

"I'm just grateful that the voters have made their voice heard," he said. "I'm really optimistic about the result."

He also said that he believed that his family name has a good reputation in the region, something he's never shied away from.

"It means that people have respected by family," Miskimins said. "I think growing up here, it's been an asset to me in this campaign. I've lived here since I was 11 years old, this is my home and I'm very proud of that."

Koth, a retired banker, was happy with the results and was looking forward to getting ready to serve in Pierre.

"As far as running and campaigning, it was a huge learning curve," he said. "The part that I enjoyed most was visiting with people ... and I've come away from this experience really appreciating anyone that runs for public office. It's time-consuming but I want to do the job right."

Koth said he intends to spend more time studying the budget and preparing to vote on leadership positions. Like Miskimins, he was thankful for the clean campaign.

"I really appreciate the fact that in District 20 house, everybody ran a clean race," Miskimins said. "I thought it was well done in that regard."

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