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GOP leaders dismiss challenges against Democratic lawmakers

January 11, 2019

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Republican legislative leaders have dismissed allegations that two Democratic lawmakers didn’t meet state residency requirements to get elected, saying both Pine Ridge legislators will continue to serve.

The GOP leaders said Friday that based on the information they have, Rep. Peri Pourier and Sen. Red Dawn Foster will keep their posts.

Republican Rep. Julie Frye-Mueller and GOP Sen. Phil Jensen sought last week to stop Pourier and Foster from being sworn in to office. They contended there’s evidence Pourier and Foster weren’t state residents for two years before the election, a constitutional requirement.

House Majority Leader Lee Qualm says there’s plenty of evidence Pourier is eligible to serve. Senate Majority Leader Kris Langer says her caucus is satisfied with the information it has received.

Senate Minority Leader Troy Heinert says Democrats were confident from the beginning.