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Jesse Fonkert, a Republican, grew up along Lake Oahe in the rural community of Mobridge, SD. Son of a Lutheran pastor and rural social worker, Fonkert quickly learned the value of community service from his parents. After graduating high school, Jesse attended Augustana University in Sioux Falls where he majored in business administration and government and international affairs. While attending Augie, Fonkert was active in Sioux Falls interning for the Lincoln and Minnehaha County Economic Development Associations, First PREMIER Bank, and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

Following college, Fonkert moved out to Washington, D.C. to work for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder but it didn’t take Jesse long to realize what he was missing in South Dakota. Family values, open spaces, and a strong, welcoming community drew Fonkert back to the Sioux Falls area.

The people of Hartford took a chance on Fonkert in 2016 when they hired a relatively young professional to serve as their Chamber and Economic Development Director. While working for Hartford, Fonkert was able to learn from community leaders the importance of communication, transparency, and consensus building. During his four year tenure, Fonkert worked closely with businesses and residents to implement several economic development programs including downtown redevelopment.

Jesse currently serves as the President & CEO of the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance, a non-profit organized to advance economic development in its members throughout the Sioux Falls metro.

Fonkert lives in Hartford, South Dakota and is an active member of the Hartford and Sioux Falls communities. Jesse and his college sweetheart Kelsey married in 2018 and are expecting their first child to be born in spring of 2022. 

Jesse Fonkert is excited for the opportunity to serve the people of District 9 and would appreciate your vote in the Republican primary on June 7th.

Meet Jesse: Bio


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