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Published January 18, 2011, 10:19 AM

Herseth Sandlin reflects on service

WASHINGTON — In the last 6 1/2 years, I have had the privilege of serving South Dakotans in Congress. Now that my time in office is done, I want to express my enormous gratitude to the people of South Dakota for giving me the opportunity to serve. It has been the honor of my lifetime to serve the state that I love and work on behalf of South Dakota families, communities and businesses.

By: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin,

WASHINGTON — In the last 6 1/2 years, I have had the privilege of serving South Dakotans in Congress. Now that my time in office is done, I want to express my enormous gratitude to the people of South Dakota for giving me the opportunity to serve. It has been the honor of my lifetime to serve the state that I love and work on behalf of South Dakota families, communities and businesses.

In addition to being grateful for the trust you placed in me, I also am proud of the progress we made, working together on behalf of South Dakota since I first was elected in 2004.

Notable achievements

While each day included proud moments of helping a constituent in need or voting on behalf of South Dakota’s priorities in the U.S. House, a few milestones stand out.

n Helping to write and pass the last farm bill, which does right by South Dakota in its agriculture economy.

n Passing my bill, the Tribal Law and Order Act, to help ensure a better sense of safety and security in Indian Country.

n Helping to write and pass a new G.I. Bill to invest in our veterans’ education, and passing legislative provisions I authored to better meet the needs of women veterans.

n Working with South Dakota ag producers and leaders in the biofuels industry to see not one but two historic renewable fuel standards become law.

n Collaborating with the delegation and local leaders in a bipartisan effort to save Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City, S.D., and add new missions there.

n Reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program so more kids in South Dakota can have better health care.

But it’s the personal relationships I’ve made with countless South Dakotans that matter most: our servicemen and women and their families; the small business owners who put everything they have into their endeavors to create jobs and contribute to our economy; the students and teachers I met in South Dakota classrooms and in Washington when they came to visit our nation’s capital; the farmers and ranchers who weather both natural disasters and market fluctuations year after year.

The enduring spirit and basic goodness of South Dakotans is what always has inspired my desire to serve, and I forever am grateful for the opportunity to do so.

Editor’s Note: Herseth Sandlin served as a U.S. representative for South Dakota from 2004 to 2011.

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