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First Woman Gubernatorial Candidate Chooses Woman for Running Mate

State Rep. Susan Wismer, this month’s winner of the South Dakota Democratic primary for governor, has named her running mate.

Todd Epp/NPN photo used with permission

“Today I announced former legislator, mother, wife, nurse and activist Suzy Blake in this historic campaign,” Wismer said before reporters and supporters in the downtown Sioux Falls public library Wednesday morning.

Blake’s selection came as a shock to Blake as well.

“I served my four years in Pierre and it was a phenomenal experience,” Blake said after being introduced by Wismer. “I learned so much. But I felt I had done my part and it was OK to step out of South Dakota politics. And then I got a phone call.”

Blake represented District 13 in Sioux Falls from 2008-2012, choosing not to run for re-election in 2012. She and her husband Jerry raised their three sons in Sioux Falls, all three graduating from Lincoln High School. Blake has served on many boards in Sioux Falls and across the state.

The Wismer/Blake team is the first all-women gubernatorial team to run in a South Dakota election.

Delegates to the state Democratic convention in Yankton this weekend will confirm Blake as the lieutenant governor. Democrats will also select candidates for other statewide offices, including as secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, attorney general, school and public lands and Public Utilities Commissioner.

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