Billie Sutton

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Billie H. Sutton
Billie Sutton Headshot (cropped).jpg
Member of the South Dakota Senate
from the 21st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Julie Bartling
Minority Leader of South Dakota Senate
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Deputy Troy Heinert
Assistant Minority Leader of South Dakota Senate
In office
January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2015
Succeeded by Troy Heinert
Personal details
Born (1984-03-16) March 16, 1984 (age 34)
Burke, South Dakota
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kelsea
Residence Burke, South Dakota
Alma mater University of Wyoming
Occupation Investment Executive
Professional Bronc rider (formerly)

Billie Harmon Sutton (born March 16, 1984) is an American former professional bronc rider, South Dakota Senate Minority Leader, and current Democratic candidate for Governor of South Dakota.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

A fifth generation South Dakotan, Billie Sutton grew up in Burke, South Dakota where he continues to live and work today. Growing up, Billie worked on his family ranch, where his interest in rodeo began. Sutton went on to college at the University of Wyoming and became a successful rodeo rider there.

Bronc riding career and rodeo accident[edit]

Sutton left the University of Wyoming as their all-time leader in rodeo points. Due to his success at the University of Wyoming, Sutton began competing professionally on the PRCA circuit, reaching a top 30 worldwide ranking.[2] In 2007, Sutton was paralyzed from the waist down when his horse flipped upside down in the chute prior to a bronc ride at a rodeo in Minot, North Dakota.[3] He was 23 years-old at the time of the accident.

Political career[edit]

In 2010, Sutton was elected to the South Dakota Senate, representing District 21. He served as Senate Assistant Minority Leader from 2013 to 2015. He was succeeded in this position by Troy Heinert from District 26. Sutton currently serves as South Dakota Senate Minority Leader.[4]

In May 2017, Sutton announced his candidacy for Governor of South Dakota in 2018 at his family ranch in Burke, SD.[5]

Personal life[edit]

While the accident ended Sutton's rodeo career, it did not quell his love of horse-riding, an activity he still enjoys to do alongside his wife Kelsea.[6]

Electoral History[edit]

Year Office Result
2016 State Senate Sutton was unopposed in the Democratic Primary and will be unopposed in the general election.[7]
2014 State Senate Sutton was unopposed in the Democratic Primary and was unopposed in the general election.
2012 State Senate Sutton was unopposed in the Democratic Primary and defeated John S. Meyer (R) in the general election with 5723 votes (59.46%) to Meyers 3902 (40.54%).[8]
2010 State Senate Sutton defeated John S. Meyer (R) in the general election with 4167 votes (57.78%) to Meyers 3045 (42.22%).[9]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Meet Billie". Sutton for South Dakota Governor. Retrieved 2017-07-15. 
  3. ^ Montgomery, David (14 July 2013). "Cowboy's dreams standing tall". Argus Leader. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "2016 Session - Senator Billie H. Sutton". Retrieved 2016-06-16. 
  5. ^ "Democrats, Sutton enter South Dakota governor race". Argus Leader. Retrieved 2017-07-15. 
  6. ^ "From the archives: Billie Sutton, state senator and working cowboy". Argus Leader. Retrieved 2017-07-15. 
  7. ^ "2016 Election Candidate List". Retrieved 2016-06-16. 
  8. ^ "Secretary of State - State Legislative Races". 
  9. ^ "Election Resources: South Dakota Secretary of State, Shantel Krebs". Retrieved 2016-06-16. 

External links[edit]