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SD Democratic Party elects chair after removal of former leader


The South Dakota Democratic Party has selected a new chair following a recent shakeup within party leadership.

Shane Merrill was elected chair at Saturday's annual Democratic Roundup event in Rapid City.

He replaces Jennifer Slaight-Hansen, who was recalled by vote last month. She faced accusations of violating the party constitution and creating a hostile work environment.

Merill is a farmer, school bus driver and baseball coach from Parker. He had been serving as interim chair since Slaight Hansen's removal.

"We are united and looking to a brighter future," Merill said in a press release. "I think having a young, rural voice in leadership will be beneficial to the Party. Our leadership team is a reflection of the people of South Dakota. I appreciate the support and look forward to leading our efforts.”

Jessica Meyers was elected vice-chair.  She is CEO of Porchlight, a Midwest talent recruitment firm.

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