Unruh runs against Randall for GOP National Committeeman

I’m getting reports that pro-life/tea party activist Allan Unruh (of Sioux Falls) is challenging current Republican National Committeeman Dana Randall for the position. This is particularly odd considering Randall has been a board member of the South Dakota Right to Life and has always been a leading advocate for the grassroots branch of politics that dominates the SD GOP base.

Many of you may remember Allen Unruh ran for Congress in the special election in 2004 following Bill Janklow’s resignation from office. In that convention style setting Unruh didn’t fair so well.

Round one results were as follows. (A simple majority of more than 50 percent of the vote, weighted according to the number of votes cast for Gov. Mike Rounds in 2002 in each county, was needed to win.)

– Diedrich, 36.9 percent.

– Larry Russell, 33.4 percent.

– Barb Everist, 12.1 percent

– Ron Williamson, 6.9 percent.

– Dick Brown, 6.8 percent.

– Roger Hunt, 2.1 percent.

– Gary Wietgrefe, 1.1 percent.

– Allen Unruh, 0.7 percent.

After round one, Brown withdrew.

In round two, Diedrich had 44.8 percent, Russell 35.2 percent, Everist 16.7 percent, Williamson 2.8 percent, Wietgrefe 0.5 percent and Hunt and Unruh each had 0 percent.

At the 2008 Republican convention in Chamberlain, Dana Randall won an impressive grassroots victory where he defeated 4 term incumbent Ron Schmidt of Rapid City for the position.

42 Replies to “Unruh runs against Randall for GOP National Committeeman”

    1. Agot

      It will be a great debate. Dana Randall has been slacking with his outreach efforts, many party members have never heard from the guy after he got elected and new people have never received the courtesy of a phone call from him- so much for leadership.

      This isn’t about Al Unruh so much as it is about who’s willing to do the hard work to keep in touch with the party grassroots.

      Who’s willing to build the grassroots and who’s willing to just go party at the quarterly RNC parties around the country? We’re going to find out.

      So who is?

        1. The Dude

          I have seen Randall at the Hughes County LDD, Aurora County LDD and Beadle County LDD lately and a state central committee meeting. As well as the caucuses.

          Where was Unruh?

          I have nothing against Unruh or Randall – In fact I like them both. I just don’t like people twisting the facts.

          1. Anonymous

            I voted for Randall last time because Ron Schmidt wasn’t at anything. I will vote for Randall again because he has been very active. Shoot in 2010 he was in SF knocking on doors and I saw him making persuasion calls to undecided voters.

            You can count me in as a Sandye Kading supporter also because she is a great person and a hard worker. She and Dana would make a great team for the SD GOP.

  1. Anonymous

    Unruh has an unreal ego. I can’t believe he will get a majority of Minnehaha to vote for him.

      1. Anonymous

        Deadrick was at the Brookings county Lincoln Day Dinner a few years ago with some good looking blond and his shirt unbuttoned half way down. He was rocking the chest pubes.

        Looked totally different than when he ran for congress.

    1. Anonymous

      Exactly right! Stephanie Herseth would have never defeated Larry Russell. Russell’s talents single handily put Republican grass roots politics on the map in South Dakota. South Dakota really missed out on something very special when they didn’t choose Larry Russell as their nominee in 2004.

      1. Stace Nelson

        I have never had the pleasure of meetining Larry; however, if he is half the person Representative Lance Russell is, I would agree.

        Two of the unsung heroes of the legislature are Lance Russell & Mark Venner. South Dakotans are very well served having these two fine public servants serving them in Pierre.

        If either can ever be talked into running for higher office, I will break my own personal records of getting signs up for them and campaigning for them.

        Now those two are real leaders and heirs that the Founding Fathers would be proud of. God bless & Godspeed both their campaigns.

        1. insomniac

          1000% agree with you Stace. And Larry Russell is a rockstar!!!!!!!!!! I would not be surprised to see him running for Congress in CA in a decade or so.

          1. Anonymous

            Stace did you just give Russell and Venner the kiss of death by endorsing them?

            (That is a joke)

            You are the person the SD Tea Party has galvinized behind and are the person who needs to consider a statewide run for Congress. Noem would be in serious trouble if you showed up against her.

            You running against her would also force her to follow the principles she campaigned on instead of Boehner’s.

  2. Spencer

    Of course, the difference between the two is that one makes money off the pro-life agenda while the other does not.

      1. Spencer

        Yes, it will be interesting to see how Unruh makes a campaign entirely about himself appear to be about something substantive. It will be a hard feat to accomplish, but I am sure he is up to the task.

  3. Walter

    Dana will win this hands down. The Republicans understand they need someone who will get out and work for candidates not just a single issue.

  4. Arrowhead

    To go back to the Larry Russell/Larry Deidrick talk. Russell was on the verge of being a big deal in SD politics. He was really young when this election took place. He had a huge impact on the SD GOP in ’02 and ’04. He didn’t take prisoners and I liked that.

  5. Lee Schoenbeck

    First, Larry Diedrich is married to that beautiful blonde referred to above, and has been now for several years. I believe she is a banker in Brookings.

    Second, Dana and Alan are both good people, and as a party we would do well to have a vigorous and civil debate. I regret that we will be gone that week and miss what should be an interesting and well attended convention.

      1. caheidelberger

        Well, the Governor has established the utilities experience is not a pre-requisite for the PUC. By that criterion, Unruh would be a fine candidate for PUC. But which of your two GOP candidates, Nelson and Fiegen, would you want Unruh to replace?

        1. Anonymous

          If you want to know how fringe Unruh is this pretty much sums it up…

          “- Allen Unruh, 0.7 percent.”

  6. Alotamoney

    Allen and Leslie Unruh took millions of dollars in federal money for their Abstinence Clearing House and paid themselves six figure salaries. Look up the IRS form 990’s at Guidestar.org and judge for yourself whether they fit the definition of anti-tax Tea Party Republicans.

    Perfectly legal, yes. But, is it in keeping with what he espouses?

  7. The Watcher

    Who is going to challenge Sandee–surely we don’t intend to have someone with her speech making abilities represent SD….LOL…”Oh, I’m out of time?….. oh already?…. If Ron didn’t help you it is because you didn’t ask….so vote for him.”

    If it hadn’t been so pathetic and so embarrassing the entire room would have cracked up. Sandee for committeewoman? Shakes head and rolls eyes….

    1. delegate

      Sandye Kading has done a ton for the Pennington County GOP.

      Pennington’s get out the vote center was among the top in the nation. That kind of stuff doesn’t happen on it’s own.

      She is a great lady and I will work very hard to get her votes from the east side of the state.

  8. Les

    Our state is on the verge of losing millions with the Connect America ruling by the FCC.

    I’d say someone in our party should look to the challenges in our utility industries and demand our party bring preference to our states real needs and not our political ambitions for a change.

  9. Charlie Hoffman

    Some may say nice things about Dana Randall without knowing him personally. (OK-that is called trust.) Some not so nice. (That would be blasphemy unless proven true.) Others inject PUC , IRS, TEA, SHS, ETC., (for reasons of anyones guess) but those of us who know him within the GOP have a hard time understanding how a SUPER MAJORITY in both South Dakota Houses and every Constitutional office can become a crutch for him in this internal battle? (honestly Dana is just one helluva good guy) Where have the powers that be in the GOP failed the PARTY? South Dakota voters are a savvy lot.

    Yes, Randall is one of those power guys, but I sure don’t see where he failed anyone in South Dakota. If anything he has opened up other regional eyes ; along with Governor Daugaard, John Thune, Kristi Noem, Jarrod Johnson, Hagen, Dusty, Nelson,Jackley, etc., that we bring QUALITY to the table whenever South Dakotan’s are attending.

    (And I will be the first to acknowledge he reasons from the far right side of the Neo-Con side of the Republican Party; but also understands that it is impossible to GOVERN for long from there!)

    Game On!

  10. Anonymous

    Ah yes, a Republican state convention. A great place to make new enemies and become re-acquainted with your old ones!