Steve T. Kirby
|35th Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota|
April 19, 1993 – January 7, 1995
|Preceded by||Walter Miller|
|Succeeded by||Carole Hillard|
|Born||James Hovis Hodges
March 26, 1952
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, U.S.
|Alma mater||Arizona State University
University of South Dakota
Steve Kirby graduated with a bachelor of science degree in political science from Arizona State University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Dakota Law School. He married Suzette Hustead and became the father of a son and two daughters.
Kirby worked for Western Surety Company from 1977 to 1992 as corporate secretary and senior claim counsel. He was a founding partner in South Dakota's largest venture capital firm, Bluestem Capital Company, which was established in 1992. After serving as Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota from 1993 to 1995, Kirby ran for the Republican nomination for Governor of South Dakota in 2002. He entered the race after John Thune declared he would not run, but lost the election to Mike Rounds. Rounds' victory in was one of South Dakota's greatest political upsets. Until late in 2001, then-Congressman Thune was the front-runner for the nomination. When Thune passed on the race in order to challenge Senator Tim Johnson, state Attorney General Mark Barnett and Kirby quickly became candidates. Rounds declared his candidacy late, in December 2001 and was out-raised and outspent ten-to-one by each of his opponents.
However, the contest between Kirby and Barnett soon became very negative and "dirty". Barnett attacked Kirby for not investing in companies based in South Dakota and for his involvement with Collagenesis, a company which removed skin from donated human cadavers and processed them for use. It became the subject of a massive scandal when it was revealed that the company was using the skins for much more lucrative cosmetic surgery like lip and penis enhancements while burn victims "lie waiting in hospitals as nurses scour the country for skin to cover their wounds, even though skin is in plentiful supply for plastic surgeons". Kirby invested in the company after the scandal broke and Barnett attacked him for it in television advertisements. However, the advertisements backfired because "the claims were so outlandish, that people thought for sure that they were exaggerated or completely fabricated."
As the two front-runners concentrated on attacking each other, Rounds insisted on running a positive campaign and was not attacked by his opponents. Rounds' positive image and extensive knowledge of state government won him many supporters who were alienated by the front-runners. On the day of the primary election, Rounds won a stunning victory, with 44.3% of the vote to Barnett's 29.5% and Kirby's 26.1%.
- Moulitsas, Markos (26 February 2008). "GOP’s flesh-eating zombie candidate". The Hill. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- "Collagenesis". Youtube. 5 November 2006. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- "SD-Sen: 2002 ad against Flesh Eating Zombie". Daily Kos. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- Jaffe, Alexandra (28 March 2013). "Former SD lieutenant governor considering run for Senate". The Hill. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- Steve Kirby's profile at the eGisticis Inc. website
- Bluestem Capital's website- includes a profile of Steve Kirby
|Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota
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