Vermillion students elected to '01 Boys State legislature The 59th session of the South Dakota American Legion Boys State was held on the campus of Northern State University, beginning on Memorial Day through June 2.
The delegates, 492 juniors in high school, were selected in a cooperative effort between their local high schools and the local American Legion Posts. They spent the better part of the week learning about the principles of democracy.
Delegates elected the members of the session's legislature on Wednesday, May 30. Fifty-six members were elected to the Senate and 112 members were elected to the House of Representatives. In the House the party split was 64 members from the Nationalist Party and 48 members from the Federalist Party. The split in the Senate was 29 Nationalists and 27 Federalists.
Elected members of the House of Representatives included Jonathon Rusch of Vermillion, while elected members of the Senate included Eric Dehner and Andrew Knutson of Vermillion.
On Thursday, May 31, members held primary elections to determine the candidates for Boys State governor within the two mythical parties, Nationalist and Federalist. The winner of the primary election for governor on the Federalist ticket was Dale Winham of Sioux Falls. Winham captured 41 percent of the 234 votes from his party.
In the Nationalist Party primary, candidate John Rapinchuk of Watertown emerged victorious in his pursuit of his party's nomination by coming up with 55.2 percent of the 237 votes from his party. Members of the Federalist and Nationalist Parties also held their political conventions on May 31.
June 1 was election day for Boys State. Rapinchuk was elected governor for 2001 and his running mate, Clinton L. Powell of Chamberlain, was elected Lt. Governor. Both ran as members of the Nationalist Party.
South Dakota Governor William Janklow also dined with the delegates at the annual Governor's Banquet that evening.
Earlier in the day, individuals elected as Senators and Representatives for their areas participated in organizational meetings of the House of Representatives and the Senate.