Dusty Johnson

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Dusty Johnson
Chief of Staff to the Governor of South Dakota
In office
Governor Dennis Daugaard
Preceded by Thomas Dravland
Succeeded by Tony Venhuizen
Member of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission
In office
Preceded by Jim Burg
Succeeded by Chris Nelson
Personal details
Born (1976-09-30) September 30, 1976 (age 41)
Pierre, South Dakota, U.S.
Political party Republican
Education University of South Dakota (BA)
University of Kansas (MPA)

Dusty Johnson (born September 30, 1976) is an American politician who is the Republican nominee for South Dakota's at-large congressional district in the 2018 elections.

A former South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner and chief of staff to Governor Dennis Daugaard,[1][2] Johnson is currently the vice president of Vantage Point Solutions in Mitchell, South Dakota.

Early life and education[edit]

Dustin "Dusty" Johnson was born in Pierre, South Dakota. Johnson graduated from T.F. Riggs High School in 1995. He earned his B.A. in political science from University of South Dakota in 1999, and his M.P.A. from University of Kansas in 2002.[3] In 1998, Johnson was named a Truman Scholar.[4] 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.

Public Utilities Commission (2004-2011)[edit]

In 2004, Johnson ran for the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. He was elected statewide to South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. Upon his election, he subsequently became the youngest utilities commissioner in the nation.[5] He was re-elected in 2010. Johnson was also a member of the executive board of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. In 2007, he became the Chairman of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission a position he held until his resignation in 2011. In 2010, he led a South Dakota delegation that included then-Governor Mike Rounds and state regulators that met with FCC Commissioners on concerns with 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 chief of staff for Governor Dennis Daugaard.[6] Johnson served four years as chief of staff to Governor Dennis Daugaard. As chief operating officer for much of state government, he supervised Cabinet Secretaries, policy advisors and many of the Governor’s projects and initiatives.

Later career[edit]

In 2014, he resigned his chief of staff position, leaving the public sector to work for Vantage Point Solutions in Mitchell, South Dakota.[7] Fellow Truman Scholar, Tony Venhuizen, succeeded Johnson as Chief of Staff.

2018 U.S. House of Representatives election[edit]

On November 15, 2016, Johnson announced bid to become a Republican candidate for U.S. Representative for South Dakota's at-large congressional district.[8] The announcement came shortly after Kristi Noem had announced she would not seek re-election to Congress in order to run in the 2018 South Dakota gubernatorial election.[8] He defeated businessman Neal Tapio and Secretary of State of South Dakota Shantel Krebs in the June 5, 2018 GOP primary. He will face Tim Bjorkman in the November general election.

Electoral history[edit]

Dusty Johnson electoral history
2018 Republican primary election – At Large Congressional District of South Dakota
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dusty Johnson 47,032 46.8
Republican Shantel Krebs 29,442 29.2
Republican Neal Tapio 23,980 24.0
Total votes 100,454 100

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 since 2004.[9]Johnson serves on the board of directors for the W.O. Farber Fund, Abbott House, and served on the South Dakota Attorney General's Open Government Task Force. Johnson has served as an adjunct professor at Dakota Wesleyan University.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20101229052033/http://sd.gov/governor
  2. ^ http://dakotawarcollege.com/tag/dusty-johnson/
  3. ^ "Crisis or Renaissance". puc.sd.gov. South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. 
  4. ^ "Harry S. Truman Foundation". Truman.gov. 
  5. ^ "Crisis or Renaissance". puc.sd.gov. South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. 
  6. ^ "Dusty Johnson to be Daugaard's chief of staff". mitchellrepublic.com. 
  7. ^ "Dusty Johnson to resign as Daugaard's chief of staff". usatoday.com. USA TODAY. 
  8. ^ a b "Dusty Johnson planning run for Congress in 2018". KSFY.com. 
  9. ^ "TARS". penncogop.org. Pennington County GOP.