SDGOP Chair gives Argus Leader the hard truth on why Dems lose elections in SD.

South Dakota State Republican party chairman Dan Lederman has an editorial in the Argus leader tonight where he takes a strong counterpoint to reporter Dana Ferguson’s article contending that Democrats lose in South Dakota because of some alleged, but non-existent gerrymandering:

SDGOP Chair Dan Lederman

Acting as an apologist for Democrats in the story, Ferguson tried to intimate that they would have more electoral success if legislative districts were drawn differently. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Why? For the same reason my dad would always say, “The world is ran by people who show up,” and in S.D., instead of showing up, Democrats have given up.

In the 2016 elections that were used in the Associated Press study, which Ferguson was writing about, in S.D., the Democratic Party did not run candidates in 30 percent of the State Senate races. Nearly one-third of the races were abandoned.

Mind you, as chair of the S.D. Republican Party, I’m not complaining about that fact. But I will take issue with someone ignoring the fact that Democrat chair Ann Tornberg made a decision to not run candidates in 30 percent of those races – and now, the Democrat party is trying to lay blame at their electoral failure on “gerrymandering.”

How the legislative districts were designed had nothing to do with it. They made a conscious decision to lose the races before one vote could even be cast. They chose not to show up. They didn’t show up in the State Senate. And in election after election before that, they have chosen not to run candidates for the legislature and many statewide offices.

That’s on them. Not Republicans.

But failing to run candidates for office is only part of the Democrat Party’s problems. State Democrats have had difficulty with candidate recruitment, voter registration, fund raising and a plethora of the functions that political parties are required to do to be viable operating organizations. It is very telling that S.D. Democrats are artificially being kept afloat by the national party giving them monthly stipends to keep the door open.

Read it here!

18 Replies to “SDGOP Chair gives Argus Leader the hard truth on why Dems lose elections in SD.”

  1. Mary Jean Jensen

    Thank you for telling it like it really is Dan – your thoughts from serving as a Legislator and a County GOP Officer are so very correct. The Republicans in South Dakota need a leader who is nor afraid of telling the truth. Keep up the good work!

    1. Anonymous

      I agree..nice to have some leadership and a quick reaction by the chairman!

      Too bad others in Pierre don’t show the same leadership.

  2. Tara Volesky

    We have a lot of former Democrats that are now Republicans in the Legislature.

    1. Minnehaha County Observer

      And a couple as President! I for one welcome the Trump & Reagan Democrats. I’m a big fan of winning.

  3. Miranda Gohn

    While I believe Gerrymandering has occurred. The state Democratic party is continuing on the path of total irrelevancy here in South Dakota. 2018 could be a very rare opportunity to turn things around with what has been happening nationally and in the state to win back voters, increase party registration, recruit good candidates, fundraise and rebuild their reputation. Instead the party has been backing very divisive ballot initiatives for 2018 that will result in losing even more Democrats and potential Indy and Republican crossover voters, funding and future candidates. Dem registration numbers in SD are still falling.

  4. Anne Beal

    You can concoct all the crazy reasons you want to about why the Democrats are failing in South Dakota, but it comes down to South Dakotans, as a group, are too intelligent to believe in free lunches, fluid genders, man-caused weather, we are all inanimate blobs of tissue until a transformative miracle occurs in the birth canal, or that socialism will work if just given another chance.
    The fact that the few remaining Democrats in the state still believe in such fantastical things tells you why they can blame Republican gerrymandering for their failure to recruit candidates.

    1. Anonymous

      Anne the two large political parties are going more extreme especially in South Dakota.

      1. Anonymous

        Actually, conservatives stick with traditional American values and government philosophies. So by their very nature they are not changing or becoming extreme unless you believe limited
        government, free-market, American Capitalism is “extreme.” There is a minority of Republicans in our legislature that can honestly claim they are conservative.

        The “extreme” changing is occurring but towards embracing the policies of the Democrats. Our Republican legislature is so only in name.

        1. Miranda Gohn


          I am talking about Eisenhower, Gerald Ford type of Republicans. It makes one wonder where Nixon would stand a chence of being elected or even Reagan in todays Republican Party. Eisenhower and Gerald Ford would probably be called Democrats. I realize Eisenhower was probably A-political and even Truman tried to recruit him to run but still.

          It just seems like both parties are going extreme and then there are those in the middle who can look at both parties and see things they like and dislike. It may be why more people are regsitering as Independent or unaffiliated or some are going the route of 3rd or alternate parties though anything other than the two major parties has not historically gained much traction in recent times.

          Jim Webb the presidential candidate I supported who was a moderate Democrat yet was appointed Sec of the Navy by Reagan does not even see himself as a Democrat anymore. In South Dakota I definatley do not see myself as a Democrat anymore with where the state party is going. I grew up in two family businesses and am business oriented, believe in accountability and personal responsibility.

  5. Larry Rhoden

    I cant buy the argument that both parties have become more extreme. In my view, the Democrats have become more and more liberal and “extreme” while the conservative Republicans have tried to hold their ground.
    Just because the gap between the parties has widened, does not mean the Republicans have become more extreme. The fundamental principles of limited government, individual rights, personal responsibility are still the standard for the Republican Party. As for the Republicans that dont represent those values, many of them dont hold office for long.

    1. Miranda Gohn


      One of the concerns I have with today’s Republican party is to further merge church and state turning it into a quasi-Theocracy and undermining public education while promoting private religious schools. I would imagine your parents sacrificed when they made the choice to send you to Sunshine Bible Academy. My parents made the choice to switch me from public school in 4th grade to the Catholic School system in 5th thru HS graduation. I know my parents sacrificed to send me thru the Catholic School system to learn more about my faith and provide more structure yet they firmly believed in the value and importance of our public school system never wanting to undermine it. I am grateful for their sacrifice and choice as it helped shaped me to the person I am today.

      Another concern is corporate and big money influence in politics. I’m all for talking about fiscal conservative discussions but I have visited with multi-generational Republicans and even they acknowledge that the party seems to be geared more towards large corporations at the expense of main street business in regards to power and influence. Does the party and it’s elected representatives represent the will of the local people or big money and corporations? There is a battle within the Democratic party regarding the same problem so they are not immune.