SDDP Recruiting for Executive Director. As long as that lasts..

I’m noticing this morning that the South Dakota Democrat Party has their job opening up for an Executive Director for the South Dakota Democrat Party, after Suzanne Pranger bailed on them for a Billie Sutton run for statewide office.

What can the person who applies for this job expect?  Misery. Soul crushing defeat.

Aside from the obvious, I’d argue that anyone applying for this position might expect that it could be a very, very short tenure. With Ann Tornberg’s opponents continuing the fight to have her ousted, she and possibly her hand-picked staff may all be out the door sooner than they think.

In case any of our readers on the other side of the aisle are into self-abuse, and think they can turn the Democrat party around, here’s the job listing:

POSITION TITLE:  Executive Director
REPORTS TO:  Chair of the South Dakota Democratic Party and the Executive Board
LOCATION:  Sioux Falls, SD

DESCRIPTION:  The Executive Director, in collaboration with the State Chair and the Executive Board, oversees all programmatic and fundraising activities for the state party. The Executive Director’s main objectives include building a strong State Party, recruiting new candidates, and winning elections in a competitive environment. This person must be reliable, honest, loyal, and discreet.

CLOSING DATE:  Open until filled


  • Serve as chief strategist for the South Dakota Democratic Party;
  • Develop and implement campaign plans to win elections at the local, federal, and statewide levels;
  • Work alongside coordinated campaign and coordinate consultants’ activities during election years;
  • Work with field personnel to maintain and expand grassroots efforts and primary base;
  • Stay up-to-date on technology involved with Party building and winning elections;
  • Manage relationships both in-state and across the U.S.;
  • Attend County party meetings and other Democratic Events;
  • Build coalitions with emergent progressive groups;
  • Hire additional personnel based on need and decisions made in consultation with the State Chair, Executive Board and SDDP Personnel Committee.
  • Perform staff reviews and encourage staff development;
  • Review and restructure staff functions and responsibilities as necessary;
  • Direct fundraising efforts, develop strategy, and work with finance staff or consultants to implement plan;
  • Oversee programming such as volunteer recruitment and retention, including during non-election years;
  • Work with Chair, Treasurer, consultants, and staff to develop and adhere to operating budget;
  • Coordinate with Party Secretary and staff to prepare written reports for all meetings of the Executive Board and the State Central Committee;
  • Act as liaison with the staffs of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Association of State Democratic Chairs (ASDC), and the Association of State Democratic Executive Directors (ASDED);
  • Attend DNC, ASDC, ASDED, and District and Regional Party meetings;
  • Ensure that all campaign finance reports, tax returns, and other required reports are accurately filed on time by the Compliance consultant;
  • Work with staff to issue press releases, speak on behalf of Party where appropriate, and present the SDDP in a positive and professional light;
  • Oversee and maintain relationships with SDDP leaders, elected officials, key constituencies, and donors both in-state and nationally;
  • Develop training programs for the SDDP, including precinct/county/district leaders and candidate training sessions;
  • Oversee development and production of party-building and message delivery tools, including newsletters, website, social media outlets, etc.;
  • Organize all meetings of the Executive Board and State Central Committee as required by the SD Democratic Party Constitution;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of state of the art campaign techniques, campaign planning, targeting, polling, election law, GOTV programs, party building, and pre-election planning.


  • Experience in executive/senior level management in political campaigns, which may also include non-profit, private industry, or the public sector. Ideally, experience would include a combination of the above-mentioned sectors including previous success in local, state, and federal campaigns;
  • A proven successful executive with the ability to provide internal and external leadership to the SDDP in order to achieve political and financial objectives;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and execute strategic political strategies and manage tactical execution to achieve results;
  • An excellent internal leader, recognized for the ability to develop, motivate, manage, and build functional teams that achieve and maintain superior performance;
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain a credible reputation and high profile presence in the community on behalf of the SDDP;
  • Proven excellence in written and oral communication as well as media experience are essential;
  • Experience in soliciting and securing donor dollars, both in-state and nationally;
  • Ability to manage details and stay on top of multiple tasks, large and small, at once;
  • A strong commitment to SDDP ideals and issues;
  • Effective computer skills, including Microsoft Office Suite, Excel, NGP/VAN and Google Shared Suite;
  • Bachelor’s degree required.

Please submit an email with the subject line “Executive Director” with your resume, cover letter, and three professional references to Chair of the SD Democratic Party, Ann Tornberg at [email protected]. No cold calls please. Salary is commensurate with experience.

The South Dakota Democratic Party is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or any other category prohibited by local, state, or federal law.

3 thoughts on “SDDP Recruiting for Executive Director. As long as that lasts..”

  1. Where was this listed/posted?

    Loved the “effective computer skills criteria” which is dog whistle either for “can’t be a luddite or suffer from cyberphobia” or “has to have worked for a liberal advocacy group.” Maybe both.

  2. “Misery. Soul crushing defeat. Into self-abuse.” Pat Powers, your writing style is what keeps me coming back. Oh, and I guess staying informed is important too:) Thanks!! Sure am happy that Porter guy is not commenting any longer.

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