David Lust, a former Republican state lawmaker in South Dakota who was the state’s GOP majority leader for four years, died suddenly on Friday, according to reports.
The cause was believed to have been a heart attack, Chief Argus of Sioux Falls reported.
Lust, 53, was most recently a partner in a law firm in Rapid City, according to the newspaper.
He served twice in the South Dakota House of Representatives, from January 2007 to January 2015, after his first electoral victory in 2006.
After leaving the public service, Lust returned in September 2016, appointed by the government of the day. Dennis Daugaard to succeed State Representative Dan Dryden, following Dryden’s death from cancer. Lust served until January 2019.
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South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, a Republican who served alongside Lust when she was a state legislator, told Leader Argus that she remembers Lust as an effective lawmaker who took care of herself. was committed to criminal justice issues.
“He and I were elected together and we were both whips at the same time,” Noem told the newspaper. “He was a great lawmaker and a serious lawmaker, but also the kind anyone could approach. He was a fantastic man.”
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US Senator Mike Rounds posted a recollection of Lust on Twitter.
“David Lust was a true public servant, a brilliant legal mind and a dedicated family man,” Rounds wrote. “Her thoughtful leadership has had a lasting impact on the community of Rapid City and the state of South Dakota. Jean and I are raising Becky and their four children in prayer.”
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Daugaard also spoke about Lust’s commitment to public service.
“We didn’t always agree on things, but he was very professional,” Daugaard told Argus Leader. “I have always respected and admired him, and I loved him very much.”
Lust, a graduate of Dartmouth College, leaves behind a wife and four children.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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