South Dakota Democratic Party

Shane Merrill, the chairman of the South Dakota Democratic Party. (Courtesy of SDDP)

A little advice for the next leader of South Dakota’s Democrats

BY: - September 23, 2023

Shane Merrill is a farmer, so it’s a given that he knows all about hard work. Yet Merrill has set himself up to take on the hardest job in the state as chairman of the South Dakota Democratic Party. Merrill had the chance to move up from interim chairman after the previous chairwoman, Jennifer Slaight-Hansen, […]

Signage at an early voting center on Sept. 23, 2016, in Minneapolis. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Democratic voter registration falls behind ‘other’ category in South Dakota

BY: - August 21, 2023

Historic shifts in South Dakota voter registration have culminated in a milestone: The number of voters registered as independents or without a political affiliation has surpassed the number of Democrats. Independent and non-politically affiliated voters (those who leave the political affiliation blank when they first register) have been growing steadily in number since the 1990s. […]

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South Dakota political parties battle themselves more than each other

BY: - August 16, 2023

It used to be that the toughest thing about politics was getting elected to office. Lately in South Dakota, the toughest thing about politics has been keeping the parties in line. That was apparent this month when Dan Ahlers, the executive director of the South Dakota Democratic Party, resigned. Ahlers, who was hired in May […]

Dan Ahlers. (Courtesy of South Dakota Democratic Party)

New Democratic leader faces challenge filling blank spots on ballots

BY: - June 1, 2023

The South Dakota Democratic Party has a new executive director. Let’s resist the urge to make a comparison to the captain of the Titanic. While the Titanic sank, at this point there’s no place for the South Dakota Democratic Party to go but up. Dan Ahlers of Dell Rapids is the new executive director and […]

Legislators and guests wait for Gov. Kristi Noem to deliver her budget address on Dec. 6, 2022, in the House chamber at the Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Democrats deserve blame for one-party rule

BY: - December 26, 2022

The South Dakota legislative session is about two weeks away and it should be an interesting one as it offers impressive dueling tax cut plans. Gov. Kristi Noem wants to cut the state sales tax on food, while a group of Republican legislators have an idea for cutting property taxes. There is some concern about […]

The federal courthouse in Sioux Falls. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Democrats recommend Duffy as federal judge

BY: - November 28, 2022

The South Dakota Democratic Party has recommended a judge for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench in Rapid City. Veronica Duffy, 58, has served as a U.S. magistrate judge since 2007, initially in the Western Division of the U.S. District Court of South Dakota. Duffy currently works in the Southern Division, which is headquartered […]