SDGOP Chairmanship to have contest for first time in many, many years?

While there’s lots of rumors swirling in Pierre lately (Some more than others), there’s one that is more recently bubbling to the top of the tidepool that political observers should find interesting.  Namely, that the Chairmanship of the South Dakota State Republican Party might be a contested race at the next Republican State Central Committee meeting, scheduled to be held on February 11th.

Long-time Gubernatorial Cabinet and Staff member and current Republican Party Chairwoman Pam Roberts of the Pierre/Ft. Pierre area, who in recent days gave indication that she would be running again is possibly facing a challenge from businessman and former Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dan Lederman of Dakota Dunes.

Previously, Lederman had also served as Union County GOP Chair, as well as County Commissioner and State House member. Lederman had served in the Legislature for many years, but resigned during his last Senate term to spend more time with his family, but vowing to continue his involvement with politics.

And running for the GOP Chairmanship just may be how he intends to do it.

Often, the GOP State party chair has been a slated position, serving at the request of the sitting Governor and often based on who they could find to do it. And it has been that way for many years.

However, officially, the position is actually selected at a vote of the Republican State Central Committee. And, it is possible they could choose to act independently of the Governor’s preference.

If the race comes to fruition, I suspect the race would serve as a contrast of styles and illustrate differences between party leaders and the rank and file on what the current mood of the party is.

As noted, Roberts has been close to party leaders, and Governors in particular, going back to Governor Janklow. In April of this last year, Governor Dennis Daugaard expressed his continuing trust in her by appointing Pam to the South Dakota Board of Regents.

Whereas at times, Dan has been more of a maverick and has gone his own way. Dan has been active in working with candidates directly, including through his work with the RJC, and independently forming a political action committee, Rushmore PAC, which has supported conservative candidates logistically, and financially independent of the State GOP on both the state and federal levels.

What do you think? Clearly, there’s two good and qualified candidates, and we’d be well served by either one.  It all depends on mood of the state Central Committee on February 11th.

Stay tuned.

40 thoughts on “SDGOP Chairmanship to have contest for first time in many, many years?”

  1. I’m pretty sure Daugaard gave up his ability to unanimously pick the SD GOP chair when he and Thune called for Trump to drop off the ticket.

    Lederman will be a fine Chairman.

  2. If Daugaard thinks he is going to pick a Chairman he owes an explaination to the SD GOP faithful why he chose to make life harder for the central committee that wanted to stop Hillary Clinton and worked hard for Trump.

    1. Hey! You guys are lucky! At least you did not have a central committee member that made sure everyone knew this member would not support or vote for the party nominee going into the general election.

      1. Melisa Mentele SDDP Central Committee member on her facebook page letting everyone know she did not support or vote for Hillary Clinton the DNC nominee in the general election but then turns around and slams Trump. Emails have been flying and many SD Dems are angry! It is no wonder the state party is imploding.

    1. If she doesn’t run Daugaard might have a hard time finding someone to run against Lederman. Not one chair in the past 10 years has wanted the job let alone run for it.

      Senator Gray was probably the last chair I thought did a good job.

      1. What about the guy Tony and dusty brought in that spent all the parties money. What was his name?

  3. Isn’t Lederman close with Jackley? Is this part of the rift between Daugaard and Jackley? Or is Jackley just trying to install his own chair before the primary with Noem?

    1. Good call on this! The last three fillings for Rushmore PAC point to four donations to Jackley’s PAC.

  4. What is up with this? Last I heard she couldn’t wait to be done with the Chairman position. A weekend at the inaugural change her mind?

    1. Why not. It’s certainly a better platform than not. I’d rather have Lederman than Rave. He didn’t do a thing.

  5. I’d like to see the party members decide who runs the party and not the governor.

    At times I agree with Governor Daugaard and at times I don’t. But I don’t know why his is the only opinion that matters with the party.

    I didn’t like it when he endorsed candidates and I don’t like him picking the chair year after year. Let the grassroots have a say.

    1. It tends to be about raising money and the governor raises the money for the party. Daugaard is out then the party is out of money.

      1. Like when the governor was raising money and gave the job to Craig Lawrence with $50,000 in debt…..

  6. Who has actually seen Pam Roberts at any county party function outside of SF< Pierre and Rapid?

    Has she ever gone out to any of the other party luncheons or Lincoln Day Dinners?

    1. I don’t know but bydmayr is the one collecting the paycheck and he is not very interested in leaving Sioux falls I’ve been told. Lentsch was everywhere.

  7. Budmayr and Pam took the GOP to all time highes in the House and Senate. Pam has done a great job.

      1. The party has been riding their wins in 2010 for six years now. They paved the way. Everyone since is only maintaining what Lentsch and Gray left them as inheritance.

      2. Lentsch didn’t do anything. He came in with a wave. Then he left the state as fast as he could when he didn’t see an opening to run for Congress.

        1. Hello! There is a big fat opening right now and the only person standing in his way is a 130lbs guy. Lentsch made the wave. Lentsch would be the wave in a US House race.

          Huether will beat Dusty if he’s the GOP nominee.

    1. Trump and Obama took the GOP to all time highs. The state party hasn’t done anything since Roetman. Now he worked hard.

      A lot of republicans should be concerned about Huether if leadership doesn’t change.

  8. Craig Lawrence did a great job as state chair in fundraising, setting a vision, and energizing the party faithful. Pam Roberts has done a great job in making sure that the state party is run efficiently. There’s no reason for Lederman to run against her.

    Whether you like it or not, the biggest job of the state party chair is fundraising. And that means coordinating with the Gov and the federal delegation. If the state party chair is not working with them, then not much will get done. That’s why the Gov usually picks the person. It’s the same reason why a GOP president picks the national chair who is then officially elected by the RNC.

    1. Well when Trump calls for himself to withdraw from the ticket the rnc delegation can go against his wishes and pick a chairman of their liking.

    2. Then Pam should not have announced she was NOT running again and gave Lederman an opening

  9. Lederman is by far the best choice . He is a dedicated fund raiser , relates well to county parties , legislators and party leaders . He just will not accept poor results .

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