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State Dems Choose Seiler For Party Chair

Former U.S. Attorney and state Attorney General candidate Randy Seiler is now the state Democratic party chair.

Seiler was elected at a State Central Committee meeting over the weekend.

Seiler is the third person this year to serve as chair for the state Democrats.

Former state legislator and U.S. House candidate Paula Hawks took the helm from Ann Tornberg earlier in March.

The South Dakota Democrats also elected Nikki Gronli as vice chair and Marcia Bunger as treasurer.

Seiler says the new faces bring some optimism to the party.

“There are some new ideas, but at the same time we intend to build on the foundations that have been established over the years in the South Dakota democratic party,” Seiler says. “Dating back to McGovern, Abourezk, Daschle and Herseth. Those are our goals moving forward.”

It’s been a tumultuous year for South Dakota Democrats. In August, financial reports showed the party underreported payments to the national party around the 2016 elections. Then in October, newly-elected-chair Paula Hawks and executive director Stacey Burnette resigned on the same day.

According to the latest FEC filings, the Democratic Party has about $41,000 cash on hand and $46,000.

Seiler has said he would not run for party chair. But after pouring through the state’s finances he was encouraged to seek the seat.

Seiler says they’ll begin searching for a new executive director immediately.