Dusty Johnson grew up in central South Dakota, splitting time between Fort Pierre and Pierre. He was raised in a working-class family. Dusty got his first job at 14 and opened his first business at 16. After high school, Dusty attended USD in Vermillion, where he met his wife, Jacquelyn. After graduate school in Kanas, they moved home to Mitchell.
Dusty worked for Governor Mike Rounds before running against an 18-year incumbent for a seat on the Public Utilities Commission. With a lot of help from across the state, Dusty won that PUC race and was re-elected in 2010. A week after the election, facing a $127 million deficit, Governor Daugaard asked Dusty to be his chief of staff.
After twelve years in state government, Dusty returned to the private sector. Dusty is currently an executive with an engineering and consulting firm in Mitchell that helps telecom providers deploy better broadband to rural America.
Jacquelyn and him have three boys – Max, Ben, and Owen. As a family they love the outdoors, whether hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, or biking.