The SD GOP Central Committee is meeting today in Pierre to decide which city will be host for the 2014 (and possibly 2016) convention sites. Most of you will know that the 2012 convention will be held in Sioux Falls.
Here is a list of previous convention locations as best I can remember or others could help me.
2010 Huron, 2008 Chamberlain, 2006 Watertown, 2004 Mitchell, 2002 Sioux Falls, 2000 Spearfish, 1998 ???, 1996 Aberdeen, 1994 Pierre, 1992 Pierre, 1990 Sioux Falls, 1988 Watertown, 1986 Mitchell, 1984 Rapid City, 1982 Yankton, 1980 Aberdeen, 1978 Sioux Falls,
In years past a group of GOP county central committee members would have been chosen to serve on a site selection committee that would select the city they felt most deserving based on presentations and accomodations. However, following the unanticipated size of the 2010 convention which took place in Huron at the Crossroads, the state party became very concerned that the number of candidates seeking nominations and delegates attending would be overwhelming for the facility.
The other issue was concern that there wasn’t adequate media coverage in Huron. I believe all of those who attended the convention thought that the organizers pulled it off with few hicups. (the Dems held their 2010 convention here in Sioux Falls) For contrast, many people thought that Huron (2010) and Sioux Falls (2012) should have swapped dates because of the large turnout 2010 generated and the fact that the state’s largest media market will host the 2012 convention with a congressional race, PUC and the National Committee member races.
Still, the decision was made to remove the site selection from the county delegates and place the selection with the state central committee with the belief that they would be able to delegate the next convention to cities they deemed capable of hosting an event of certain size and able to garner earned media.
Though I have respect for all of those serving on the site selection committee and serving our state as central committee members, I do worry that the SD GOP is becoming a very top down organization. By removing the selection from random county party members from across the state who will first gather when they see the bids from different cities, the current form may give the impression a decision has already been discussed and made by the Executive Board prior to the meeting. This also may put smaller communities such as Huron, Chamberlain, Yankton etc. at a perpetual disadvantage.
The cities that I am aware of making a pitch at the meeting tomorrow include Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen, and Watertown.
A decision is expected to be made by the committee following the final presentation.