Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station
Mayor Mark Carstensen (right) speaks at the 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The long time mayor announced Tuesday he was stepping down.
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Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen stepping down

STURGIS, S.D. – After serving the City of Sturgis for many years, Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen said he has decided to prioritize his life differently and will step down as mayor effective immediately.

“I need more time for family and growth in my faith,” said Carstensen who has a wife and three young boys.

Under the laws of South Dakota, when a mayor resigns, the City Council President steps into the role of mayor. In this case, the city’s Council President is Beka Zerbst. Zerbst has called a special meeting for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, to address the mayor’s resignation and facilitate the appointment of a new mayor.

Carstensen began his time as a public servant in Sturgis in 2009 and served one term on the city council before running for mayor.

He began his 13th year as mayor of Sturgis when he called to order the 2023-2024 session of the Sturgis City Council last May.

Carstensen said it has been a privilege to serve the community.

“We have come a long way from when I first took this seat,” Carstensen said.

From Winter Storm Atlas to the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the mayor has been at the helm for some watershed moments in Sturgis during his tenure.

“I want to thank all of those who have supported me on this journey,” he said.

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