Alice Kundert: American politician from South Dakota. State Auditor 1969-1979. Secretary of State 1979-1987. Served in the South Dakota House of Representatives from 1990 to 1994.
Kundert passed away Monday, June 10, 2013, at Mobridge, S.D. She would have turned 93 on July 23rd.
Alice Kundert was born to Otto J. Kundert and Maria (Rieger) Kundert, on a farm in Campbell County, South Dakota, between the rural communities of Java and Mound City. Otto and Maria became the parents of nine children, five sons and four daughters, with one daughter, little Hilda, passing away in infancy.
Their daughter, Alice, graduated from Java High School and attended Northern Normal School (now Northern State University).
Her father Otto Kundert and her brother Gust Kundert also served in the South Dakota House of Representatives.
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Excerpt from the "Argus Leader," June 11, 2013:
..."Alice Kundert's political life began with stints as deputy superintendent of schools in Campbell County, followed by election to the town board and school board, and then as Campbell County's clerk of courts and register of deeds.
.....When Kundert was elected as auditor, she wasn't the first woman to win statewide, but she did so at a time when few women stood in the political spotlight."
....."She was a political force of nature unto herself," [Dusty] Johnson said. "She showed a lot of people throughout the '70s that women could be just as big political players as candidates as men ever could."
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Alice Kundert formally launched her gubernatorial campaign in February 1986 in Mound City, where she had taught school nearly three decades before. She was the first woman since 1946 to run for governor, according to American News stories at the time.
Following her service in statewide office, Kundert traveled the schools around the state to speak to students about the 1989 South Dakota State Centennial.
Kundert was also active in the South Dakota Teenage Republicans.
Alice Kundert was good for politics. She didn't care if you were a Republican or Democrat. Everybody received her respect.
"Alice Kundert was a South Dakota institution for decades," said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. "Perhaps her most lasting legacy is her work with young people, which inspired many to follow her into public service."
Governor Daugaard ordered flags at the state Capitol lowered to half-staff Thursday, the day of Kundert's funeral. (Information for bio compiled by Cathy Porter-Maynard).
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