Billie H. Sutton of Burke announces his campaign for re-election to the State Senate representing District 21. Legislative District 21 is composed of Tripp, Gregory, Charles Mix, and the Northwest portion of Bon Homme Counties. Sutton has served the past six years as Senator for District 26 and District 21.
Billie is the son of Bill and Renee Sutton from Burke, and he grew up on the Sutton family ranch 26 miles northeast of Burke. Sutton graduated from Burke High School in 2002 and was very active in sports during his high school years participating in football, wrestling, track, choir, band, as well as high school rodeo. Sutton attended the University of Wyoming on a rodeo scholarship, and he competed in both college and professional rodeo from 2002 to 2007. Sutton had a very successful rodeo career but it was cut short in October of 2007, after a horse flipped over in the chute at the Badlands Circuit Finals in Minot, North Dakota, breaking his back. Sutton has been very involved with his community: by substitute teaching, coaching middle school football, becoming an active member in the Burke Community Club, Burke Riding Club (President), and a member of the Lucas Baptist Church.
Sutton has a Business Finance degree from the University of Wyoming and currently works for First Fidelity Bank as an Investment Services Officer, as well as helping on the family ranch.
Sutton was elected to the State Senate in 2010 at the age of 26. Education and agriculture are two issues that are very important to him. Sutton is very passionate about education; he believes that we need to give every child the opportunity at the best education possible, and that means keeping our rural schools relevant and vibrant. He says that agriculture is important to him because, “without farmers and ranchers who raise livestock and crops, our state’s thriving economy and infrastructure would not exist.” Sutton served on the Appropriations Committee for his first four years in Pierre. The last two years he has served on Senate State Affairs, Commerce & Energy, and Local Government. Sutton has also served on several other task forces and interim committees including: State Tribal Relations, Legislative Planning Committee, Primary Care Task Force Oversight Committee, Blue Ribbon Task Force, SD Healthcare Solutions Coalition Work Group, and the Ag Land Assessment Task Force.
Sutton has both past and future ties to shaping the laws of South Dakota. His Grandfather Billie H. Sutton was in the legislature in the 1970’s and ran for Lieutenant Governor in 1978. Sutton is married to Kelsea Kenzy Sutton, who is a practicing attorney in Gregory, and they are expecting their first child this spring. When asked why he is running again Sutton stated, “I believe our state has made incredible strides in recent years as it relates to education, healthcare, and rural economic development in South Dakota. I want to continue to be a part of the progress that we have made together. I am excited for the opportunity to make South Dakota an even better place to live, work, and raise a family. I would be humbled to have the opportunity to be elected to my fourth and final term in the Senate. If we all work together and look at each issue using common sense rather than fighting over party lines, it is amazing what we can accomplish. If re-elected I will continue to work with all legislators regardless of party affiliation to get the job done.”
Billie can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on his cell phone at (605) 830-5540.