Paula Hawks running for SDDP Chair. Would her strategy be “pretend to be Republican”…again?

There has been word this week that one-time Democrat Congressional Candidate Paula Hawks has thrown her hat in the ring and self-nominated herself to make another run at overthrowing South Dakota Democrat Party Chairwoman Ann Tornberg, who is also seeking another term of office.

This run marks yet another in a string of her attempts to overthrow the electorally challenged Tornberg, with prior attempts coming in the form of demanding a party shake-up after her Congressional Loss..

After an unsuccessful run for South Dakota’s lone U.S. House seat, Democrat Paula Hawks said she hopes her party will shake up its leadership.

The former state legislator and teacher from Hartford said the South Dakota Democratic Party needs to reorganize at the top if it wants to win campaigns moving forward.

“I think that what we’ve seen in the last year is that what we’re doing isn’t working,” she said Tuesday. “We do need a shake-up.”

The comments underscore a disagreement within the party about how much blame to place on its current leadership, which has been at the helm for less than two years.

Hawks declined to name specific party leaders or positions she thinks need to change. But others were more pointed in their desire to oust the party’s chairwoman following an election that left Democrats without a single statewide office and with four fewer seats in the state Legislature.

Read that here. well as a direct failed coup attempt in 2017 to drive Tornberg out of office…

We haven’t seen a strategic plan from the state office telling us what the plan is for the next five years, the next year, or even the next six months. From a business perspective, this is unacceptable. I have had the privilege of being a high school teacher, a training professional and a talent recruiting specialist. Not once did I work for a company that did not have a short- and long-term strategic plan in place. Once you have the strategic plan in place, you have to have the capital to make it happen, and the leadership capability to execute it across the state. Our fundraising efforts have been lackluster and have not been meeting the needs of a major political party working to ensure the election of progressive candidates across the state. Listening sessions are great, but only if some action comes about as a result of what is heard. We need to take that data, analyze it, determine what it means for the mission of the SDDP, and then involve our leaders to develop our strategic plan around it.

This is what I intend to do if elected to the Chairmanship of the SDDP

Read that here.

The word I’m hearing today is that while many Democrats would like to see Tornberg walk the Democrat Party plank after 4 years of failure, Hawks is not a choice that they’re thrilled about.

I’m hearing the word ‘opportunist’ bandied about in reference to her candidacy, and one particular campaign tactic of hers hasn’t been forgotten. Apparently activists are still burned a bit and have not forgotten that her campaign funded one of two postcards in 2012 featuring herself running alongside a Republican Candidate in an attempt to appeal to voters:

Districts 9 and 19 have been hit with postcards from a group calling themselves “A Bipartisan Group of South Dakotans.”


There was a filing placed by what could be this PAC which seems to identify this new organization:


Going back to the form – what’s even wilder is that this was a form showing the receipt of funds. Paula Hawks … are dumping money into these things intentionally to market themselves alongside Republicans.

Read that all here.

It remains to be seen whether mainline Democrats of the South Dakota Democrat Party would accept and elect someone as Chairwoman whose idea of campaigning is to fund postcards where she pretends to be Republican.

The election for Democrat Party Chair is scheduled at for March 23rd in Oacoma.

One thought on “Paula Hawks running for SDDP Chair. Would her strategy be “pretend to be Republican”…again?”

  1. I thought Paula would be moving right out to New York since they passed the anything-goes abortion law.

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