There were few surprises late Tuesday night in West River legislative races, where Republicans won or were winning all but a few of the 30 legislative seats in districts west of the Missouri River.
Going into the election, only three of the 30 seats - two in the House and one in the Senate for each district - were held by Democrats. And those were on the Pine Ridge, Rosebud and Cheyenne River Indian reservations, which are traditional Democratic strongholds in the otherwise Republican-dominated West River region.
In District 32 in Rapid City, Democratic officials held out hope that Mike Wilson could beat the odds in the heavily Republican district. But Wilson ended up third in a four-way race for the two House seats.
Incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Hennies was the leading vote getter, with 32 percent, followed by Republican Alan Hanks with 28 percent and Wilson with 27 percent - 218 votes short of Hanks. Democrat Anita Paige had 13 percent.
Wilson said he felt good about his campaign and congratulated Hennies and Hanks on the victories.
"I wish them well. I know they'll both do a great job of representing District 32," he said. "I'm grateful for the 4,000 people who supported me. And now it's time to get some sleep."
Hanks praised Wilson for an effort that brought him so close in a strongly Republican district.
"Mike ran a heck of a campaign. He had a real uphill battle," Hanks said.
He praised all the candidates for running campaigns based on issues instead of insults.
"There was not a single negative word from any of the candidates," he said. "Comparing that to a lot of the top of the ticket, it was a breath of fresh air."
After Wilson's bid came up short, Democratic hopes were mostly in the reservations.
In the District 27 House race, including the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations, incumbent Democratic Reps. Jim Bradford of Pine Ridge and Paul Valandra of Mission were battling Republican newcomer Bruce Whalen of Pine Ridge, early in the vote count. But with 11 of 21 precincts reporting, Whalen trailed the Democrats with 19 percent of the vote to 40 percent for Bradford and 41 percent for Valandra.
In the Senate race in District 27, incumbent Republican Michael LaPointe of Mission was leading Democratic challenger Theresa "Huck" Two Bulls of Pine Ridge 54 percent to 46 percent.
All 10 West River Senate seats appeared likely to remain in Republican hands. Incumbents in two of those races - Districts 34 and 31 in Rapid City - were unopposed in the general election.
And Republican Senate candidates in the other eight districts had either won or were ahead at news deadline.
One race of particular GOP concern going into the election was in District 28, where Senate Republican leader Eric Bogue was expected to face a formidable challenge from former Democratic legislator Dean Schrempp.
Bogue, a lawyer from Dupree, and Schrempp, a rancher from Lantry, had met in three past races for the House, with Bogue winning two and Schrempp one.
But Bogue held a comfortable lead throughout the night and ended up winning 59 percent to 41 percent.
In the House race in District 28A - one half of the state's only split House district - Democrats were concerned about a challenge to incumbent Rep. Tom Van Norman of Eagle Butte by Republican Everett Hunt, a rancher from Eagle Butte who ran an energetic campaign.
But Van Norman held on to his legislative seat, topping Hunt 66 percent to 34 percent.
Off the reservations, there were no incumbent Democrats west of the Missouri River.
Wilson, a conservative Democrat, was perhaps the party's best hope to change that. His yard signs could be seen mixed in with Republican signs here and there across town.
But Hanks, a former Rapid City alderman who owns and operates a furniture store in Rapid City and an RV park in Hermosa, was expected to be tough.
And Hennies, a retired policeman who served as chief in Rapid City for 16 years, maintains a durable following. His election-night experience was showing late Tuesday. With the race still far from decided at 11:30 p.m., he was in bed, reading to go to sleep.
"What good will it do me to stay up?" he said. "It'll come out the same whether I'm awake or asleep."
Here is a roundup of district results:
District 26: In the House race for two seats, incumbent Republican Cooper Garnos of Presho and Republican Barry Jensen of White River won with 43 percent and 37 percent, respectively. Democrat Belva Emery, White River, finished third with 20 percent.
In the Senate, incumbent Republican John Koskan of Wood beat Democratic challenger David Reis of Oacoma 57 percent to 43 percent.
District 27: In the House race, with 11 of 21 precincts in, incumbent Democrats Paul Valandra of Mission and Jim Bradford of Pine Ridge had the lead with 41 percent and 40 percent, respectively. Republican Bruce Whalen of Pine Ridge had 19 percent.
In the Senate race, incumbent Republican Michael LaPointe of Mission was leading Democratic challenger Theresa "Huck" Two Bulls of Pine Ridge, 54 percent to 46 percent.
District 28: In the District 28A House race for one seat, Democrat Tom Van Norman of Eagle Butte beat Republican challenger Everett Hunt of Eagle Butte, 66 percent to 34 percent. In 28B, incumbent Republican Rep. Ted Klaudt was unopposed.
In the Senate race, Republican incumbent Eric Bogue of Dupree beat Democratic challenger Dean Schrempp of Lantry, 59 percent to 41 percent.
District 29: In the House, Republicans Larry Rhoden, an incumbent from Union Center, and Thomas Brunner of Nisland, were unopposed.
In the Senate, Republican Kenneth McNenny of Sturgis beat Democat Richard Richter of Enning, 65 percent to 35 percent.
District 30: In the House, with 37 of 41 precincts in, Republicans Gordon Pederson of Wall and Gordon Howie of rural Rapid City had 34 percent and 32 percent, respectively, to 20 percent and 14 percent for Democrats Lynn Moran of Custer and Elaine Whittlesy of Custer.
In the Senate race, Republican Rep. Jim Lintz of Hermosa was leading Democrat Edward Meyer of Custer, 73 percent to 27 percent.
District 31: In the House race, Republicans Tom Hills of Spearfish and Charles Turbiville of Deadwood took the seats with 35 percent and 32 percent to 21 percent and 13 percent for Democrat Glenn Umphrey of Spearfish and independent Tom Huhnerkoch of Lead.
In the Senate, incumbent Republican Jerry Apa of Lead was unopposed.
District 32: In the House, Republicans Tom Hennies and Alan Hanks won with 32 percent and 28 percent, and Democrats Mike Wilson and Anita Paige had 27 percent and 13 percent.
In the Senate, Republican Rep. Stan Adelstein beat Democrat Jim Ackerman, 64 percent to 36 percent.
District 33: In the House, incumbent Republicans Mike Buckingham and Donald Van Etten had 41 percent and 38 percent to Democrat Jeanmarie Heriba, with 21 percent.
In the Senate, incumbent Republican J.P. Duniphan beat Democrat Richard Livesey, 66 percent to 34 percent.
District 34: In the House race, incumbent Republicans Ed McLaughlin and Elizabeth Kraus had 43 percent and 37 percent. Democrat Gary Loudner had 20 percent.
In the Senate, incumbent Republican Royal "Mac" McCracken was unopposed.
District 35: In the House, incumbent Republicans Jeff Haverly and Alice McCoy won with 29 percent and 29 percent, to 24 percent and 18 percent for Democrats Mike Howe and Theresa Spry.
In the Senate, incumbent Republican Bill Napoli beat Democratic challenger Mike Reardon 64 percent to 36 percent.