South Dakota's At-large congressional district

South Dakota's At-large congressional district

Infobox U.S. congressional district
state = South Dakota
district number = 1

image width = 350
image caption =
representative = Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
party = Democratic
english area =
metric area =
percent urban =
percent rural =
population = 754,854
population year = 2000
median income = 35,282
percent white = 88.7
percent black = 0.6
percent asian = 0.6
percent native american = 8.3
percent hispanic = 1.4
percent other race = 0.1
percent blue collar =
percent white collar =
percent gray collar =
cpvi = R+10

The South Dakota at-large congressional district covers the entire state of South Dakota. It was created in 1982, after South Dakota lost its 2nd district. From 1889 to 1913, it existed with two representatives elected state-wide at-large.

It is represented in the United States House of Representatives by Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. It is the largest congressional district represented by a Democrat.

Seats added and removed

When South Dakota was admitted into the Union in 1889, it was allocated two congressional seats, both of which were filled from the state at-large. This continued until South Dakota received a third congressional seat after the 1910 Census, and individual districts were established.

From 1913 to 1933, South Dakota had three seats. In 1933, one seat was eliminated. In 1983, the second seat was also eliminated, leaving South Dakota with one seat which was again elected At-large.


Two seats were created in 1889. They were changed into three districts in 1913. One at-large seat remained after 1983.

1889 – 1913: Two seats

1st seat

Recent elections

2004 special election

Incumbent representative Bill Janklow resigned his seat effective January 20, 2004, after he was convicted of second-degree manslaughter, triggering a special election. Stephanie Herseth was selected as the Democratic nominee for this special election and she beat GOP candidate Larry Diedrich with 51 percent in a close-fought election on June 1, 2004. Herseth's victory briefly gave the state its first all-Democratic congressional delegation since 1937.

2004 general election

In the November general election, Herseth was elected to a full term with 53.4 percent of the vote, an increase of a few percentage points compared with the even closer June special elections. Herseth's vote margin in June was about 3,000 votes, but by November it had grown to over 29,000.

Herseth thereby became the first woman in state history to win a full term in Congress.

Both elections were hard-fought and close compared to many House races in the rest of the United States, and the special election was watched closely by a national audience. The general election was also viewed as one of the most competitive in the country, but was overshadowed in the state by the highly competitive Senate race between Tom Daschle and John Thune.

External links

* [ 2004 campaign finance data]

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