Dusty Johnson is an American politician who is the member-elect of South Dakota’s at-large congressional district after winning the 2018 election. A former South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner and chief of staff to Governor Dennis Daugaard, Johnson is currently the vice president of Vantage Point Solutions in Mitchell, South Dakota.
Dustin “Dusty” Johnson was born in Pierre, South Dakota and graduated from T.F. Riggs High School in 1995. He earned his B.A. in political science from University of South Dakota in 1999, where he was a member of fraternity Phi Delta Theta. He earned his M.P.A. from University of Kansas in 2002. In 1998, Johnson was named a Truman Scholar. As a Truman Scholar, he worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. In 2003, Johnson worked as a senior policy advisor for then-South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds.
In 2004, Johnson ran for the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. He was elected statewide to South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. Upon his election, he subsequently became the youngest utilities commissioner in the nation. He was re-elected in 2010. Johnson was also a member of the executive board of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. In 2007, he became the Chairman of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission a position he held until his resignation in 2011. In 2010, he led a South Dakota delegation that included then-Governor Mike Rounds and state regulators that met with FCC Commissioners on concerns with the FCC’s National Broadband Plan and its impact on small and rural providers in South Dakota
On November 15, 2016, Johnson announced bid to become a Republican candidate for U.S. Representative for South Dakota’s at-large congressional district. The announcement came shortly after Kristi Noem had announced she would not seek re-election to Congress in order to run in the 2018 South Dakota gubernatorial election. He defeated Secretary of State of South Dakota Shantel Krebs and businessman Neal Tapio, a state senator, in the June 5, 2018 GOP primary. He defeated Democrat Tim Bjorkman, a retired circuit court judge, and two minor candidates in the November general election.