Harvey Wollman, last Democratic governor of South Dakota, dies
HURON, SD (AP) — Harvey Wollman, who 45 years ago became the last Democratic governor of South Dakota, has died. He was 87 years old.
Wollman died of natural causes Tuesday at a Huron hospital, his son Mike told The Associated Press.
Harvey Wollman had a short stint as governor. He was Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota in 1978 when Governor Richard Kneip was appointed United States Ambassador to Singapore. Wollman’s term as governor lasted five months as he had already been defeated in the 1978 Democratic primary election by Roger McKellips before taking office.
Republican Bill Janklow defeated McKellips for governor in the 1978 general election, beginning the race for control of the GOP.
“He worked hard for the people and politically it didn’t work out for him as well as he had hoped, but damn it he loved his side of the state with all his heart,” Mike said. Wollman about his father.
Wollman was born March 14, 1934, in Frankfort, South Dakota, and grew up on his family farm in Spink County, where he lived in the same house with his wife of 63 years, Anne.
A 1953 graduate of Doland High School, Wollman was motivated for public service by fellow Doland graduate Hubert H. Humphrey. As senior class president, Wollman was called upon to guide Humphrey through a school reunion and was “really inspired by his style, his politics and his leadership,” Mike Wollman said.
Harvey Wollman eventually became a key Democratic figure in the South Dakota Senate. He was elected to three consecutive terms and served as both Majority Leader and Minority Leader.
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