Tom Lawrence column South Dakota Democratic Party politics

The South Dakota Democratic Party has several heroes whose names and faces are regularly referenced.

George McGovern.

Dick Kneip.

Jim Abourezk.

Tom Daschle.

Tim Johnson.

All served the state for years, with McGovern, Abourezk, Daschle and Johnson all serving in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Johnson also was a state legislator, with two terms in both the state House and the state Senate.

Kneip, who was a state senator from Salem, was elected governor three times, 1970, ‘72 and ‘74.

But their days have passed. Kneip, who was defeated in a 1986 primary when he tried to return to the governor’s office, died in 1987. He was just 54.

McGovern, a World War II aviator and one-time professor who served two terms in the U.S. House and three in the Senate, ran for president in 1968, ‘72 and ‘92. He was the Democratic presidential nominee in 1972, losing in a landslide to Richard Nixon.

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