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Meet Billie Sutton

A fifth generation South Dakotan, Billie Sutton grew up on his family’s ranch northeast of Burke, SD. He was valedictorian of his Burke High School graduating class and attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie on a full-ride rodeo scholarship and earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Finance.

Billie went on to rodeo professionally and was in the top 30 in the world in the professional ranks when his career was cut short. At just 23 years old, Billie was paralyzed in a rodeo accident while competing at the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo in Minot, North Dakota.

Billie resides in his hometown of Burke, SD. He still rides horses and has a cattle operation with his family. Billie previously served as manager of the South Central South Dakota Hay Association and now works for First Fidelity Bank as an Investment Executive. Billie is President of the Burke Riding Club which puts on the award-winning Burke Stampede Rodeo.

Billie is married to Kelsea Kenzy Sutton, an attorney with First Fidelity Bank and County Commissioner in Gregory County. Billie and Kelsea have a young son named Liam.

Billie was elected to the State Senate in 2010 and represented the people of his district until being term-limited after 8 years of public service. Billie served four years as the State Senate Minority Leader and ran for Governor of South Dakota in 2018.

Billie founded the Sutton Leadership Institute in 2019 to build the foundation for a stronger South Dakota and more vibrant communities and workplaces by inspiring and preparing the next generation of leaders for service to others.