Senator Marion Michael Rounds is an American politician and businessman. He has been serving as a junior US Senator from South Dakota under Republicans since 2015. He was a previous member of the South Dakota Senate from 1991 to 2001. He also served as the 31st Governor of the state from 2003 to 2011.
Rounds were born in Huron, South Dakota, on October 4, 1954. He was named after his uncle, Marion Rounds, who died during World War II. He attended and graduated from South Dakota State University in 1977. There, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. After his graduation, he worked as a partner in a private real estate and insurance firm.
Senator Mike Rounds Career
Rounds started his political career in 1990. He successfully ran for a seat at the South Dakota Senate, where he represented District 24. He assumed office the following year and served as the Minority Whip from 1993 to 1994. He also served as the Majority Leader from 1995 to 2000. He was re-elected four times and served till 2000. He left office in 2000 due to term limits.
In 2002, Rounds took the race for the position of the Governor of South Dakota. Rounds won the Democratic nomination and got past his Democratic opponent. He took office the following year and was re-elected in 2006.
In 2012, Rounds announced his candidacy for the Senate seat vacated by Tim Johnson. In 2014, Rounds won his Republican primary and also won the general election. He took office the following year and was re-elected in 2020
Senator Mike Rounds Accomplishments
Among his legislative successes was the enhancement of the economic status of the state. Also, he worked on developments in the education sector. He began the construction of the Stanford Underground Laboratory, a world-class research facility. He also sponsored the increment of relief grants and incentives of employees.
He also worked to support businesses while creating job opportunities. He also launched initiative programs to expand and support businesses and educate youths.
Rounds is an environmental protection advocate. He has worked towards the advancement of the wind and ethanol energy sector in the state.
Senator Mike Rounds Criticisms
One of the most controversial scandals in which Rounds got himself was a $500,000 financial misconduct. While serving as a governor, Rounds allegedly diverted $500,000 investors’ funds. The scandal came to light after his former cabinet official committed suicide.
The investors’ funds were raised under the EB-5 visa program. The program enabled large investors to become citizens of the US.
Rounds were also accused of a felony during a court hearing after providing false information to state lawmakers. But, that didn’t affect his election.
Rounds were part of 47 Senators that signed a controversial letter to the Iranian government in 2015. The letter warned Iran against signing a nuclear deal with the incumbent administration. But, the letter caused backlashes from both the President and Congress