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District 20 voters elect Koth, Krohmer for state House of Representatives

Lance Koth will serve a third term in the South Dakota Legislature while Ben Krohmer will serves his first.

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Ben Krohmer, left, and Lance Koth, right, were elected to the South Dakota House of Representatives during a primary election on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — Residents of South Dakota’s District 20 hit the polls on Tuesday to pick their next representatives, electing Lance Koth and Ben Krohmer to serve as their representatives in Pierre.

In a Tuesday primary, voters were given two votes to split between three candidates — Koth, Bathke and Mitchell businessman Ben Krohmer.

An incumbent, Koth came in second place with 1,819 votes out of a total 5,400 votes cast for the position. Krohmer came in first with 1,882 votes, while Bathke finished third with 1,699 votes. No Democrats ran for the seat in District 20, meaning Koth and Krohmer will not face general election challengers in November.

Koth, a retired banker from Mitchell, scored a third term in the state’s House of Representatives, where he plans to focus on helping South Dakotans manage national inflation while also incrementally increasing the state’s reserve funds.

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Lance Koth
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

Ahead of Tuesday’s primary, Koth told the Mitchell Republic that his experience in Pierre should speak for itself, and that he hoped voters across District 20 would afford him the opportunity to continue learning and legislating on their behalf.

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Now, Koth said he’s ready to get back to work.

“I appreciate the votes and I'm going to try to do my best for another two years,” Koth said. “I would like to congratulate my opponents on their well-run campaigns.”

Krohmer, a businessman with Mitchell’s Krohmer plumbing, will become a legislative freshman, as he’s never served in either of the state’s legislative bodies before.

During his campaign, he shared that his priorities included addressing the workforce shortage, cutting wasteful spending and funding childhood education.

In an interview with the Mitchell Republic before voters hit the polls, Krohmer said his fresh face and blue-collar lifestyle would offer voters a breath of fresh air.

“I want to say that I appreciate everybody that supported me in this whole thing and everyone who voted for me. I can’t even begin to say how thankful I am, especially coming in first [place] as a first-timer,” Krohmer said. “I want to say congratulations to Lance for also placing as well, and it looks like we’re going to be working together in Pierre.”

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Ben Krohmer
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

Krohmer will fill the role of Rep. Paul Miskimins, R-Mitchell, who chose not to seek re-election to the state House. Miskimins did not return multiple requests for comment regarding his decision.

The two victors will begin their role as state representatives on Jan. 10, 2023, when their first official duty will be to receive the governor’s State of the State address at the Capitol.

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DISCLAIMER: All voting data is sourced from the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website and from county auditors. Results from Tuesday’s primary are considered unofficial until certified by the South Dakota Secretary of State.

Dunteman covers general and breaking news as well as crime in the Mitchell Republic's 17-county coverage area. He grew up in Harrisburg, and has lived in South Dakota for over 20 years. He joined the Mitchell Republic in June 2021 after earning his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He can be reached at HDunteman@MitchellRepublic.com, or on Twitter @HRDunt.
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