Democrat Ray Ring and Republican Nancy Rasmussen defeated Marion Sorlien (D), and Sheri Kaufman (R), for the two open House of Representatives District 17 seats.
In the South Dakota Senate race, Republican Arthur Rusch overcame Democrat Michelle Maloney for the open seat, with 58 percent of the vote.
Although Ring, who received 28 percent majority, joked he was too old to be exhilarated at the news of his win, said he was pleased to see he did better than last year’s election.
“I’m pleased and I’m looking forward to go back to Pierre,” Ring said.
Ring said he, his wife and volunteers went to more than 2,700 doors to campaign, and overall ran a better campaign this year.
“I worked hard,” Ring said. “So it’s very satisfying.”
Other than his own win, Ring said he was happy to see Initiated Measure 18, which will raise minimum wage in South Dakota, passed. He was disappointed to hear Rick Weiland and Susan Wismer lost, and wishes the Democratic Party would have more of a presence in the state’s legislative makeup.
Rasmussen, who received 28.44 percent of the vote, could not be reached for a comment.
Republican Arthur Rusch claimed the Senate seat with a 53 percent majority. He was at home sitting at his kitchen table when he received the news.
“I’m obviously very pleased with the results,” Rusch said. “I’m really honored the voters saw fit for me to represent them in the Senate.”
Rusch said there were not many wins he was surprised with.
“They’re pretty much consistent with what I expected,” Rusch said.
Ring and his wife invited the College Democrats and neighbors to watch the coverage of mid-term elections.
“I guess there’s an advantage to being the only candidate in Vermillion,” Ring joked while having his photo taken by a Plain Talk reporter.
Other than one other student who stopped by to say hello, College Democrat senior Benedict Gombocz was the only one to accept Ring’s invitation.
“I thought it’d be interesting to have a one-time opportunity to have dinner with a representative and see the election results,” Gomocz said.
Gomocz speculated many of the University of South Dakota students either went to Yankton, Sioux Falls or stayed at home to watch the elections.
“I would expect more people to attend these,” Gomocz said.
Neighbors of Ring, Linda and Gordon Reetz, came to support.
Linda Reetz speculated why there was a lack of students.
“I think it’s because it’s mid-term election,” Linda Reetz said.
Gomocz said he was not surprised at many of the mid-term results.
“It’s mostly what I expected,” he said.
(Photo: Senior Benedict Gombocz and Ray Ring, the Democratic candidate for the South Dakota House of Represenatives, watch election results come in Tuesday night at Ring’s house in Vermillion. Ally Krupinsky / The Volante)