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SD Senate GOP leader keeps seat after recount in close race

November 28, 2018

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Senate Republican leader Blake Curd is holding onto his seat after surviving a recount Wednesday in his close race for re-election.

Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz said Curd’s election night victory will stand following recounts in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties for the Sioux Falls Senate seat. Democratic candidate Kasey Olivier requested officials take another look after unofficial results showed her down by just 27 votes out of 9,717 cast for both candidates.

Olivier said the recount ended with a similar margin. Curd didn’t immediately return a telephone message seeking comment from The Associated Press.

It was a close call for Curd, an orthopedic surgeon who won re-election in 2016 by nearly 1,800 votes. He has served in the chamber since 2013. Curd’s victory clears him to seek another term as majority leader, a role Senate Republicans plan to fill next week.

House Republicans earlier this month elected Rep. Lee Qualm to another term as their majority leader.

After nearly unseating the Senate Republican leader, Olivier said she plans to run for political office again in 2020 — though she’s not yet sure which one she’ll choose. The first-time candidate said she focused on education and workforce development during her state Senate campaign.

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