Former House lawmaker appointed to same chamber
Noem fills one of two vacancies following Supreme Court decision
Gov. Kristi Noem has filled one of the two vacancies that were created by resignations over the last year.
Noem announced Saturday morning that she was appointing Kristin Conzet to the State House, to fill a vacancy created after Noem appointed Rep. Becky Drury to District 34 earlier this legislative session, after Drury moved across town. Drury’s old district, 32, was originally vacated after Jess Olson resigned last year.
Conzet served in the House from 2010 to 2018. There, she ascended to leadership, eventually serving as majority whip. In addition, she also chaired the House Local Government Committee.
“I am happy to appoint Kris to this role,” Noem said. “She has a robust background of public service and I look forward to working with her as District 32’s new representative.”
The Governor touted Conzet as a “strong conservative” who during her first stint in the Legislature, voted in favor of constitutional carry. A business owner, her legislative career first started when she was appointed by Gov. Mike Rounds in 2009. She was re-elected four times, and left office in 2019 because she was term-limited out.
Conzet and her husband Steve live in Rapid City. They have one daughter, Katie.
Noem’s appointment comes just hours after the Supreme Court issued a precedent setting decision Friday evening. In it, the court overturned nearly four decades of precedent, ultimately loosening restrictions on state lawmakers’ ability to enter into state contracts. The governor had previously indicated that she would not make appointments to either of the two legislative vacancies until the court issued a decision.
Still awaiting an appointment is a Senate seat in District 35, vacated last year after former Sen. Jessica Castleberry’s resignation. The Governor’s Office has indicated that they would move swiftly to fill both positions.