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Dusty Johnson

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Dusty Johnson
Official portrait, 2021
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Dakota's at-large district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byKristi Noem
Chief of Staff to the Governor of South Dakota
In office
January 8, 2011 – November 7, 2014
GovernorDennis Daugaard
Preceded byNeil Fulton
Succeeded byTony Venhuizen
Member of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission
In office
January 2005 – January 8, 2011
Preceded byJim Burg
Succeeded byChris Nelson
Personal details
Dustin Michael Johnson

(1976-09-30) September 30, 1976 (age 47)
Pierre, South Dakota, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Jacquelyn Dice
(m. 1999)
EducationUniversity of South Dakota (BA)
University of Kansas (MPA)
WebsiteHouse website

Dustin Michael Johnson[1] (born September 30, 1976) is an American politician serving as the U.S. representative for South Dakota's at-large congressional district since 2019. A member of the Republican Party, he served as South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner from 2005 to 2011, when he was appointed chief of staff to Governor Dennis Daugaard, a position he held until 2014.[2][3][4] Between his state political career and congressional service, Johnson was the vice president of Vantage Point Solutions in Mitchell, South Dakota.

As a member of the centrist Problem Solvers Caucus, Johnson is generally considered to be a moderate Republican. During his tenure he has voted to revoke Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the southern border, keep Liz Cheney as the Republican Conference Chair, and joined all Democrats in voting to approve legislation to establish the January 6, 2021 commission meant to investigate the storming of the U.S. Capitol.[5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Johnson was born in Pierre, South Dakota. He graduated from T.F. Riggs High School in 1995. He graduated from the University of South Dakota with Omicron Delta Kappa honors with a BA in political science in 1999, and was a member of fraternity Phi Delta Theta.[7] He earned his MPA from the University of Kansas in 2002.[8] In 1998, Johnson was named a Truman Scholar.[9] As a Truman Scholar, he worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. In 2003, Johnson worked as a senior policy advisor for then-South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds.

State government career[edit]

Public Utilities Commission (2004–2011)[edit]

In 2004, Johnson was elected to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. He was the youngest utilities commissioner in the nation.[8] In 2010, he won reelection. Johnson also served on the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' executive board. He was appointed chair of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission in 2007, and he served in that capacity until his resignation in 2011. In 2010, he led a South Dakota delegation that included then-Governor Rounds and state regulators that met with FCC Commissioners about concerns over the FCC's National Broadband Plan and its impact on small and rural providers in South Dakota.

Daugaard administration (2011–2014)[edit]

In 2011, he resigned his PUC position to become Governor Dennis Daugaard's chief of staff,[10] a position he held for four years. As chief operating officer for much of state government, he supervised cabinet secretaries, policy advisors and many of Daugaard's projects and initiatives.

Private sector career (2014–2018)[edit]

In 2014, Johnson resigned as chief of staff, leaving the public sector to work for Vantage Point Solutions in Mitchell, South Dakota.[11] Johnson was succeeded as chief of staff by Daugaard's son-in-law, fellow Truman Scholar Tony Venhuizen.[12] Johnson resigned his position with Vantage Point Solutions in 2018 upon his accession to Congress.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



On November 15, 2016, Johnson announced his candidacy for U.S. Representative for South Dakota's at-large congressional district.[13] The announcement came shortly after Kristi Noem announced she would not seek reelection to Congress in order to run in the 2018 South Dakota gubernatorial election.[13] Johnson defeated Secretary of State of South Dakota Shantel Krebs and State Senator Neal Tapio in the June 5 Republican primary. He defeated Democratic nominee Tim Bjorkman, a retired circuit court judge, and two minor candidates in the November general election.


2020 GOP Primary results by county
  •   50–60%
  •   60–70%
  •   70–80%
  •   80–90%
  •   50–60%
  •   60–70%
  •   70–80%

On February 19, 2020, Johnson announced his bid for reelection to the House.[14] On February 4, 2020, former state representative Liz Marty May announced she would challenge Johnson in the Republican primary.[15]

Two Democrats, Brian Wirth of Dell Rapids and Whitney Raver of Custer, announced their candidacy for the House seat,[16] but neither got the required number of signatures to make the ballot.[17] According to state party chairman Randy Seiler, Wirth and Raver's canvassing efforts were hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.[18] On June 2, Johnson won the Republican primary, 77%–23%.[19] He won the general election with 81% of the vote.[20]


2022 GOP primary results by county:
  •   50–60%
  •   60–70%
  •   70–80%
  •   50–60%
  •   60–70%

On October 12, 2021, State Representative Taffy Howard announced that she would challenge Johnson in the Republican primary.[21] On June 7, 2022, Johnson defeated Howard, 59%–40%.[22]

Johnson went on to defeat Libertarian nominee Collin Duprel 77.4%–22.6%.


Johnson was sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives on January 3, 2019, and joined the Problem Solvers Caucus soon after.


In 2022, Johnson was one of 39 Republicans to vote for the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2022, an antitrust package that would crack down on corporations for anti-competitive behavior.[23][24]

Border wall[edit]

On March 26, 2019, Johnson was one of 14 Republicans to vote with all House Democrats to override President Trump's veto of a measure revoking Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the southern border.[25]

2020 election[edit]

Johnson did not join the majority of Republican members of Congress who signed an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Johnson voted to certify both Arizona's and Pennsylvania's results in the 2021 United States Electoral College vote count.

On May 19, 2021, Johnson was one of 35 Republicans who joined all Democrats in voting to approve legislation to establish the January 6, 2021 commission meant to investigate the storming of the U.S. Capitol.[26]

LGBT Rights[edit]

In 2022, Johnson voted against the Respect for Marriage Act, alongside South Dakota's two US Senators, John Thune and Mike Rounds.[27][28] Discussing his vote, Johnson indicated that he did not believe the bill provided sufficient protections for "individuals or institutions that have sincerely-held 'religious beliefs and moral convictions' about marriage", stating that “If Congress is going to codify the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision, the religious protections need to be air tight, and they weren’t,”[27] Speaking during his 2022 reelection campaign, Johnson further addressed the issue, stating: "These things are the business of the states. In fact, the full faith and credit provision of the constitution says that if any state has those gay marriages that other states need to recognize them." "Listen, when it is in the constitution—when Speaker Pelosi is going to put up these political-show bills I think she’s got to understand she’s going to find it a lot harder to get Republican support for those.”[29]

Liz Cheney[edit]

During the second vote to oust Liz Cheney, Johnson was among the few House Republicans who voted to keep her as conference chair.[30]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

2018 Republican primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dusty Johnson 47,032 46.8
Republican Shantel Krebs 29,442 29.3
Republican Neal Tapio 23,980 24.0
Total votes 100,454 100
South Dakota's at-large congressional district, 2018[35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Dusty Johnson 202,446 60.35% -3.75%
Democratic Tim Bjorkman 120,816 36.01% +0.11%
Independent Ron Wieczorek 7,313 2.18% N/A
Libertarian George D. Hendrickson 4,896 1.46% N/A
Total votes 335,471 100.0% N/A
Republican hold
South Dakota's at-large congressional district, 2020[20]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Dusty Johnson (incumbent) 321,984 80.96% +20.61%
Libertarian Randy Luallin 75,748 19.04% +17.58%
Total votes 397,732 100.0%
Republican hold
South Dakota's at-large congressional district, 2022[36]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Dusty Johnson (incumbent) 253,821 77.42% –3.54%
Libertarian Collin Duprel 74,020 22.58% +3.54%
Total votes 327,841 100.0%
Republican hold

Personal life[edit]

Johnson has been actively involved as a state advisor for South Dakota Teen Age Republicans (TARs) and its Black Hills camp leader.[37] He has served on the board of directors for the W.O. Farber Fund, Abbott House, and on the South Dakota Attorney General's Open Government Task Force. Johnson has served as an adjunct professor at Dakota Wesleyan University.


  1. ^ WALKER, JON (4 December 2004). "Twenty-Eight-Year-Old Dusty Johnson State GOP's Newest Face". Yankton Press & Dakotan. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  2. ^ "PAGE BY PAGE REPORT DISPLAY FOR 201807180200572681 (Page 58 of 204)". docquery.fec.gov.
  3. ^ "Mike Rounds - Governor of South Dakota". 29 December 2010. Archived from the original on 29 December 2010. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Dusty Johnson – South Dakota War College". dakotawarcollege.com. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  5. ^ "He defied Trump and still survived a GOP primary". 10 June 2022.
  6. ^ "Mike Johnson: House to vote on new Republican nominee for Speaker". 25 October 2023. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  7. ^ "Phi Delta Theta GHQ on Instagram: "Congratulations to the many Phis across the United States who won election victories last evening. Indiana Beta (Wabash) Phi Mike Braun…"". Instagram. Archived from the original on 26 December 2021. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Crisis or Renaissance". puc.sd.gov. South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.
  9. ^ "Harry S. Truman Foundation". Truman.gov.
  10. ^ "Dusty Johnson to be Daugaard's chief of staff". mitchellrepublic.com.
  11. ^ "Dusty Johnson to resign as Daugaard's chief of staff". usatoday.com. USA TODAY.
  12. ^ "Venhuizen to succeed Johnson as chief of staff". argusleader.com. Argus Leader.
  13. ^ a b "Dusty Johnson planning run for Congress in 2018". KSFY.com. 16 November 2016.
  14. ^ "Dusty Johnson kicks off reelection campaign". 19 February 2020. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  15. ^ "Liz Marty May announces candidacy for US Congress". 4 February 2020. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Wirth, Raver seeking U.S. House seat". 27 August 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  17. ^ "South Dakota Democrats fail to field 2020 House candidate". 8 April 2020. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  18. ^ "South Dakota Democrats will not field a U.S. House candidate in 2020". abc Dakota News Now. 7 April 2020. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Statewide races". 2 June 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  20. ^ a b "General Election - November 3, 2020" (PDF). Secretary of State of South Dakota. 10 November 2020. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  21. ^ "South Dakota lawmaker to challenge Johnson's US House seat". Associated Press. 12 October 2021. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  22. ^ Primary State Canvass Report sdsos.gov
  23. ^ "House passes antitrust bill that hikes M&A fees as larger efforts targeting tech have stalled". CNBC. 29 September 2022.
  24. ^ "H.R. 3843 (117th): Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2022 -- House Vote #460 -- Sep 29, 2022". GovTrack.us. Retrieved 30 December 2023.
  25. ^ Brufke, Juliegrace (26 March 2019). "House fails to override Trump veto on border wall". The Hill.
  26. ^ LeBlanc, Paul (19 May 2021). "Here are the 35 House Republicans who voted for the January 6 commission". CNN. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  27. ^ a b "Why South Dakota's congressional delegation didn't support the Respect for Marriage Act". Argus Leader. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  28. ^ "Johnson on 'no' vote: Same-sex marriage 'not going anywhere'". SDPB. 20 July 2022. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  29. ^ "Johnson, Duprel spar on abortion, gay marriage in SDPB debate". SDPB. 21 October 2022. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  30. ^ "Rep. Dusty Johnson votes to keep Liz Cheney in GOP leadership". Argusleader.com. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  31. ^ "About Dusty Johnson". Representative Dusty Johnson. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  32. ^ "MEMBERS". RMSP. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  33. ^ "Featured Members". Problem Solvers Caucus. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  34. ^ "CCA_Members_List" (PDF). Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  35. ^ Johnson, Cheryl L. (28 February 2019). "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 2018". Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  36. ^ "2022 General Election Official State Canvass Results" (PDF). sdsos.gov.
  37. ^ "TARS". penncogop.org. Pennington County GOP.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Dakota's at-large congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by