- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Senate is back at full strength, and Republicans are gathering over the weekend to fill two top leadership spots.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard appointed Dell Rapids Mayor Scott Fiegen on Wednesday to serve the remainder of former Senate Majority Leader Tim Rave’s term. Daugaard last week tapped Dakota Dunes businessman William Shorma to fill in for former Sen. Dan Lederman, who served as assistant majority leader.

Rave and Lederman stepped down after the 2015 session, creating a leadership void among Senate Republicans, who control the chamber.

Fiegen’s first stint as mayor of Dell Rapids was 2001 to 2007, and he stepped back into the role in 2009. He has also served as a city alderman and currently works as director of software engineering for a Sioux Falls firm.

Fiegen said his main legislative priorities are keeping tax increases at bay and ensuring South Dakota has a balanced budget through fiscal restraint.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” he said of the appointment. “It’s a lot more formal than a small town city council, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Shorma grew up farming and ranching and working in his family’s businesses in Wahpeton, North Dakota. He has worked at family businesses in Yankton and currently is CEO of one in Springfield, South Dakota. Shorma also is a former director of the Board of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, and has served as chairman of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The two Republicans will serve through the remainder of the terms, which expire after the 2016 general election.

Senate President Pro Tempore Corey Brown said the Senate GOP plans to meet Saturday to fill the leadership spots. The two new lawmakers will also be officially sworn in at the state Capitol in Pierre that day. Other leadership positions could open up depending on which lawmakers attempt to secure a new position.

Brown is running for the majority leader position.

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