Lyndi DiSanto, one of the Legislature’s most controversial members, is resigning from the state Senate.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Kristi Noem confirmed Tuesday to the Journal that DiSanto, a Republican from Box Elder, has submitted her resignation to the governor’s office, effective Dec. 31. That confirmation came after DiSanto posted a message to her personal Facebook page saying she is planning a move out of the state by Jan. 1.
DiSanto served two terms in the state House of Representatives from 2015 to 2018 and was elected to the state Senate last November. All of her service was from Legislative District 35, which includes much of eastern Rapid City, plus Rapid Valley and part of Box Elder.
The Dakota War College political blog shared an image Tuesday of DiSanto’s Facebook post, which said she has accepted a position with a real estate brokerage in Montana.
"This also means I have had to close some chapters here in South Dakota, but after some prayer and deep contemplation I believe this is where I am meant to be," DiSanto wrote on Facebook.
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DiSanto was a lightning rod for controversy during her time in the Legislature, most infamously for sharing an “All Lives Splatter” meme on Facebook in 2017, for being served with a no-trespass order last summer after engaging in heated online arguments with a constituent, and for being temporarily banned from visiting state Department of Corrections facilities last year after she allegedly violated departmental policy by making an unapproved recording of a conversation with an inmate.
DiSanto is the second legislator from the Rapid City area to resign this fall. Last month, Sen. Alan Solano, R-Rapid City, announced his resignation from the state Senate, saying he wanted to focus more on his family and his job as CEO of the John T. Vucurevich Foundation in Rapid City.
Noem’s office is considering potential appointees to serve the remainder of Solano’s and DiSanto’s terms, each of which run through the end of 2020. State Sen. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton, also recently announced that he is retiring from politics Dec. 10. All 105 seats in the Legislature will be up for election in November 2020.
DiSanto was known as "Lynne" for most of her political career but legally changed her first name to “Lyndi" in September. DiSanto's husband, Mark DiSanto, is a Pennington County commissioner, but court records show they are in the midst of a divorce.