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South Dakota Republican fends off primary challenge for House seat

Greg Nash

Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) was projected to fend off a primary challenge from his political right on Tuesday to clinch the Republican nomination for another term as South Dakota’s sole representative in the House.

The Associated Press called the race at 10:43 p.m. ET.

Johnson, who’s currently serving out his second term in Congress, was seen as the favorite for the GOP nod heading into the primary. Still, he faced a challenge from state Rep. Taffy Howard, who sought to cast herself as an even closer ally of former President Trump than Johnson.

Howard also received air cover from Drain the Swamp, a pro-Trump political action committee (PAC) that has pushed the former president’s baseless claim that the 2020 election was stolen. 

Johnson was among 35 House Republicans who voted in favor of an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. He also voted against stripping Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) of her leadership position within the House Republican Conference.

Still, Johnson fired back at attacks on his conservative credentials. Backing him in the primary was Defending Main Street PAC, a group that supports more traditional conservatives.

With the nomination locked up, Johnson is virtually guaranteed another term in Congress. No Democrat is running for South Dakota’s at-large House seat, leaving the two-term incumbent unopposed in the general election.

Tags Dusty Johnson Dusty Johnson South Dakota South Dakota House race South Dakota primaries Trump
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