Stephanie Herseth last night won a special election to fill South Dakota's vacant US House of Representatives seat, bringing the total number of women in the House up to 63. Herseth, a Democrat, was running to temporarily fill the seat of former Rep. Bill Janklow (R), who resigned his seat before going to jail for manslaughter for killing a motorcyclist in a car accident.
Herseth won 51 percent of the vote to Republican Larry Diedrich’s 49 percent, even though Vice President Dick Cheney campaigned for Diedrich in South Dakota in March. Both parties poured money into the small rural state for television ads and sent crowds of volunteers to mobilize voters, according to the Associated Press.
Herseth and Diedrich will face each other again in November in an election for the full two-year term in Congress. Herseth, a Georgetown-educated lawyer, unsuccessfully ran for this seat in 2002.
Media Resources: Associated Press 6/2/04, 5/26/04; Keloland TV 6/2/04