STATE SENATOR BERNIE HUNHOFF
Born: September 5, 1951; Yankton, South Dakota
Education: Mount Marty College, B.A. (1974); University of South Dakota (1970-72)
Family: Married - Myrna; Two children
Hometown: Yankton, South Dakota
Career: Senate Minority Leader (1997-present); State Senator (1993-present); Founder/publisher of South Dakota Magazine (1985-present); Newspaper publisher (1979-89); Public Relations Dir., Univ. Of South Dakota Medical School (1977-79); City Editor, Madison Daily Leader (1976-77); News reporter (1975-76); Legislative aide (1974-75)
Â• Born and raised in Yankton, South Dakota, Hunhoff currently lives near the farm on which he and his six brothers were raised. Hunhoff initially attended college at the University of South Dakota-Springfield for two years before completing his college work at Mount Marty College. After graduating from college in 1974, he married his wife Myrna and went to work for U.S. Representative Frank Denholm as a legislative aide.
Â• Hunhoff left politics the following year and worked in a series of jobs in news and communications. He first worked as a reporter for the Watertown Public Opinion, and in 1976, he became the City Editor of the Madison Daily Leader. Following that, he spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for the University of South Dakota Medical School.
Â• In 1979, Hunhoff and his wife started a weekly newspaper in Yankton County called The Observer. They published the newspaper until 1989, and it is now owned and published by HunhoffÂ's brother Brian. The Hunhoffs also founded South Dakota Magazine, a publication that promotes the history and culture of the state. It has grown to a circulation of 27,000 and is mailed to all 50 states and many foreign countries.
Â• Hunhoff launched his first bid fo elected office in 1992, when he ran for a seat representing Yankton County in the State Senate. He was easily elected and was re-elected twice without opposition. During his first year in office, Hunhoff joined with a Republican State Senator to form Rural Renewal, a bipartisan coalition of state legislators committed to improving the rural economy.
Â• Hunhoff quickly rose through the ranks in the State Senate, and he became Senate Minority Leader in 1997. When he announced he would run for governor, other Democrats sat out, and Hunhoff was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.