Daugaard picks Blake Curd for Johnston state Senate seat

Former lawmaker and U.S. House candidate Blake Curd was appointed today to fill the state Senate seat vacated by Mark Johnston.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard cited Curd’s “great intelligence and ability” and experience as a former legislator in his announcement of the appointment.

Curd served one term in the South Dakota House of Representatives after being elected in 2008. He became vocal as a speaker at tea party rallies in 2009, and then ran for the U.S. House seat then held by Democrat Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. Curd finished in third place in that primary behind winner Kristi Noem, who went on to beat Herseth Sandlin in Nov. 2010.

The appointment is for a Senate seat representing District 12, the southwest portion of Sioux Falls.

Aside from his political career, Curd is an orthopedic surgeon, a U.S. Air Force veteran, and the father of three children.

Johnston, in his second term as a state senator, resigned last month to accept a new job at Sanford Health.