2016 – a low-key GOP State Convention with a healthy dose of politicking for 2018

The Republican primaries are over, and this weekend, we move into what may be one of the most low-key State Republican Conventions that we’ve seen in recent years.  Devoid of controversy and races with competition, more action may potentially be in committee, with the highest level of politicking saved for candidates as they jockey for 2018.

South Dakota National Committeewoman Sandye Kading is expected to be re-elected in an uncontested contest, and while National Committeeman Dana Randall is stepping back from his duties, leaving an open seat for his position, only outgoing State Senator Ried Holien has expressed an interest in running, which may leave that office uncontested as well.

The Republican and Democrat party conventions this year will also have the responsibility of nominating their respective choices for the Public Utilities Commission to appear on the fall ballot.

Current Republican PUC Commissioner Chris Nelson is running, although Thomas Bixler of Yankton, who has unsuccessfully ran twice for the legislature in Yankton sent an e-mail trying to delegates via the internet to nominate him in absentia. Similar efforts in the past have traditionally fallen short.

Nelson will win his convention contest unopposed when it comes down to the actual delegate vote, and will handily dispatch whatever sacrificial lamb Democrats talk into running when they recruit someone to “take one for the team,” as Jay Williams is doing in the US Senate Race, and Paula Hawks is doing in the Congressional contest for the Democrats.

If there are any fireworks likely to occur, it may be in the Resolutions and Platform Committees which both meet Friday Morning. According to a postcard sent out by the SDGOP this week:


The Resolutions Committee is meeting at 1pm on Friday, and is still accepting proposed resolutions through Noon via e-mail at resolutions@southdakotagop.com. Similarly, the Platform committee is meeting at 10am, but will be accepting platform amendments through noon. Those can be mailed to the committee at sdgopplatform@gmail.com.

The last convention in Rapid City enacted a controversial resolution from the floor that garnered national attention when it demanded President Obama’s impeachment for the trading of prisoners for Bowe Bergdahl:

The resolution says Obama has “violated his oath of office in numerous ways.” It specifically cites the release of five Taliban combatants in a trade for captive U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, Obama’s statement that people could keep insurance companies, and recent EPA regulations on power plants.

“Therefore, be it resolved that the South Dakota Republican Party calls on our U.S. Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president of the United States,” the resolution reads.

Read that here.

Depending on the makeup and temperament of the delegates in attendance, we may see a bomb-throwing resolution or two, but, it’s par for the course, just like when Democrats passed one declaring themselves apologists for President Obama after the Republican one.

SDCONTENDERSBut, don’t take this as a hint that the entire affair is going to be low-key, due to the lack of contested races at conventions and elsewhere.

Watch for the serious politicking to take place in the hospitality suites and elsewhere as candidates appear and start their jockeying for Governor and other offices in 2018.  Marty Jackley and Mark Mickelson are expected to loom large, as well any number of others who are considered to be in the hunt.

Congresswoman Kristi Noem is always a presence at convention, and if she didn’t have that speed bump (Paula Hawks) in her run to another term, I’m sure she’s be talking more about 2018 as well.

And if (when) Noem does make the jump for Governor, that opens up a whole beachhead as every young candidate worth their salt (or who believes they can run at that level) will throw their hat in the ring.

We might see a few making noise already for constitutional offices in 2018, Jason Ravnsborg is mentioned as a 2-18 AG hopeful, as are Brian Gosch, Tom Wollman, and others. Trust me – there will be a lot of chatter about it in the hospitality rooms.

Tired of 2016 already? 2018 will be on display a-plenty this weekend!  If the GOP Convention is not on your calendar, it should be. I’ve got my room lined up, and my charging cords packed up for the biggest political event of the season.

See you there!

23 Replies to “2016 – a low-key GOP State Convention with a healthy dose of politicking for 2018”

  1. Anonymous

    There should be a resolution denouncing all the tax and spend RINOs who voted for all the tax, fee, and spending increases the last two years. Largest tax increases in SD history under this governor and his cronies in the legislature.

    What happened to Brock Greenfield running for National Committeeman?

    We need to get that Lynn DiSanto to run for governor, or Betty Olsen. We don’t need any of the ones running now, nor do we need Boehner’s girl Noem.

    Who is the West River lawyer that conservatives are talking about for AG?

  2. Anonymous

    Is Noem running for governor PP? You basically made it sound like she is rather than IF.

    I’ve heard nothing about her running for about 6 months. Jackley and Mickelson seem to be running.

  3. Dana Randall

    I want to welcome everyone reading this to attend the SD Republican Convention in Aberdeen at the Ramkota.
    Opening Banquet is Friday eve , with Social starting at 5:30. Keynote Sen John Thune. Hospitality Rooms afterwards.
    I look forward to visiting with you,

      1. Brown Co GOPer

        The best thing that happened to Brown County was Dana moved to Edmunds County and the best thing that will happen to the state is that Dana will no longer be the committeeman. His ego is HUGE as well as his meanness to others.

          1. Brown Co GOPer

            His ego got the best of him again in today’s Aberdeen Paper:
            “Jason Williams and Char Cornelius took what I started and made it better,” he said.
            No credit for the people that busted their butts from 2004-07. Jason Williams and Char Cornelius are THEE reasons that the GOP in Brown County is wear its at. Not you Dana.

  4. Anonymous

    If Tom Wollman runs for AG then he will win. He should run for AG.

    Seward would be a good candidate as would Gosch.

    I sense a contested race for state auditor is around the corner.

    1. Anon.

      Seward does not have then professionalism as of yet to be more than a governors staffer. A few mores years in practice across SD then possibly.

      1. Anonymous

        Seward will never get my vote after the veto of the privacy bill after a tax increase. He was in on it. He was legal counsel.

        I’d support Wollman of those mentioned. Maybe Mcguigan.

  5. Anonymous

    Holien is a great choice for committeeman. Very impressed by his dedication to the cause.

  6. Anonymous

    Springer mentioned Medicaid expansion. I wish that I could write that it flabbergasts me that it would even be considered in a conservative state like SD and that so many people who call themselves Republicans would go along with one of the centerpieces and linchpins of Obamacare.

    I know that the practice of the SDRP is to support anyone willing to put an R after his/her name, but if its leaders do not start to require a true commitment to the party’s values for such support, the Democrats are going to start winning many more legislative seats because many South Dakotans are going to see no difference in the two parties and stay away from the ballot box or vote for Democrats who falsely claim to be conservatives.

    Another result from a failure to hold to the Republican principles will be that we will see a continued rise in the Libertarian Party and/or increased support for another third party such as a Constitutional Party. Both of those trends will dilute Republican strength and allow more Democrats to win legislative and statewide races.

    It is time for the SDRP to decide what it truly is, even if that is only the result of a concern for its long-term, political viability rather than an adherence to republican and Republican values.

    1. Anonymous

      Democrats won’t start winning until republicans win the presidency. Yes republican primary voters will get fed up with Daugaard just like they did with rounds but then he’ll leave and we can vote for a Jackley or Mickelson and start the process over again.

  7. Kevin W. Nelson

    As in letters to the editor, I think people should use their real names. Having made lots of wrong decisions in the past, I can attest to the fact that decisions based on fear, are usually the wrong decisions. The more I trust in God, the less fearful I am. The more I trust in myself to make decisions apart from God and other people, the more open to fears I am.

  8. Springer

    I see nothing wrong with using an alias, but I wish all the anonymous posters would take the two seconds it takes to put something unique in their “name” box so we can at least differentiate between them. It’s kinda fun to pick a nondeplume (is that the word?) and then run with it. I’m much more comfortable posting this way than I would be with my real name, although no one would know me anyway.