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Kris Conzet of Rapid City has been chosen to fill the seat of departing Rep. Brian Dreyer, R-Rapid City.

Desire and opportunity have converged for Kristin Conzet of Rapid City, who was named Wednesday by Gov. Mike Rounds to replace Republican state Rep. Brian Dreyer in the South Dakota House of Representatives.

Family and business connections didn’t hurt, either.

Conzet, a 39-year-old native of Fort Pierre, is the daughter of Karl Fischer, the governor’s partner in the insurance and real estate firm Fischer Rounds & Associates of Pierre. She operates a consulting business in Rapid City, specializing in grant and technical writing.

Rounds appointed Conzet to succeed Dreyer, who resigned his District 32 House seat to prepare for deployment to Afghanistan with the South Dakota National Guard. In a statement Wednesday, Rounds said he has known Conzet for “well over 20 years,” and believes she will be a “great addition to the state Legislature."

Conzet said Wednesday that she is excited about returning to her familiar territory in state government. She worked as a legislative page while in high school and had state jobs with the Bureau of Personnel and the buildings and grounds program with the state Bureau of Administration.

“I love the process,” she said of legislative duties.

Conzet and her husband, Steve, have a 7-year-old daughter, Katherine. Steve is vice president of business banking for Wells Fargo in Rapid City.

Kristin Conzet said this is a good point in her life to take on the new challenge of elected office.

“With different situations, different jobs, children, certain aspirations, you have to put some things aside,” she said. “This is truly a marriage of the right place and the right time in my life.”

Asked to define her politics on the scale between conservative and liberal, Conzet said: “I am a Republican. I would like to think you could categorize me, if need be, as a moderate. But I’m really a person who’s about information gathering and forming an opinion.”

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She said it was too soon to discuss her position on specific issues. Right now, she is meeting with Republican officials and getting prepared for a budget message by the governor next Tuesday and a legislative session that begins in early January.

Conzet said she is likely to run for election to the House seat in 2010.

“I’m very excited to accept this appointment,” she said. “I look forward to serving.”

Contact Kevin Woster at 394-8413 or kevin.woster@rapidcityjournal.com

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