SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has appointed a former Rapid City TV journalist to fill a vacant state senate seat for the 2020 legislative session.

Noem named Republican Helene Duhamel on Tuesday to the seat left vacant by Sen. Alan Solano, a Rapid City Republican who said he resigned to focus on professional responsibilities.

Duhamel worked at Rapid City station KOTA-TV as a news director and anchor for decades before becoming the spokeswoman for the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.

Noem sought public input before appointing Duhamel. The governor called the new senator a “a pillar of her community.”

The appointment is effective immediately.