South Dakota Democratic Party

State Dems Choose Seiler For Party Chair

Dec 9, 2019
US Attorney's Office

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.


In The Moment ... October 30, 2019 Show 690 Hour 2

The South Dakota Democratic Party will elect a new chair in early December. Whitney Raver has officially announced her run for South Dakota's lone seat in the U.S. House.

Dakota Political Junkies Jon Hunter, publisher of the Madison Daily Leader, and Jonathan Ellis, investigative reporter and columnist with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, make up this week's panel.

State Democrat Party Chair, Executive Director Resign

Oct 23, 2019

The South Dakota Democratic Party Chair and Executive Director are resigning from their positions effective immediately.

Both Paula Hawks and Stacey Burnette took up leadership positions in the party this year.

Vice Chairman Randy Seiler is confirming the resignations. He says he’s confident they had both professional and personal reasons for resigning, but declined to comment further.


In The Moment ... September 25, 2019 Show 666 Hour 2

South Dakota's Congressional delegation is calling for transparency after yesterday's announcement that House Democrats are seeking a formal impeachment inquiry with respect to President Donald Trump's phone conversation with the president of Ukraine.

And, closer to home, the South Dakota Democratic Party's financial woes continue as their treasurer has announced his retirement.

Dakota Political Junkies Jon Schaff and Jonathan Ellis discuss this week's issues.


In the Moment ... September 4, 2019 Show 651 Hour 2

Why is the South Dakota Democratic Party closing their offices in Rapid City and Sioux Falls?

What's the latest on the proposed uranium mine near Edgemont?

And what is former Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether's big announcement this afternoon?

Rapid City Journal enterprise reporter Seth Tupper and Northern State University professor of Political Science Jon Schaff discuss in our weekly Dakota Political Junkies roundtable.


In the Moment ... August 28, 2019 Show 647 Hour 2

There are two Democrats in line to run for South Dakota's lone seat in the U.S. House. U.S. Senate candidate Skyler Borglum has a plan to take on the national debt. And, posters for the American Identitiy Movement have been posted around the University of South Dakota campus.

Dakota Political Junkies Jonathan Ellis and Mike Card discuss these topics and more.

State Dems Respond To FEC Audit

Aug 21, 2019

The South Dakota Democratic Party says there’s been a lack of oversight in the financial management of the party.

That statement comes in response to a federal election commission audit that shows the party understated disbursements by nearly 2.5 million dollars from 2015 to 2016.

Party Chair Paula Hawks says FEC audits are common. She took the helm of the party in late March this year. A new executive director for the democratic party was announced earlier this month.

Hawks says the fact that an audit occurred is not concerning to her.

Dakota Political Junkies

May 22, 2019

In The Moment ... May 22, 2019 Show 581 Hour 2

Government transparency, high taxes, and former Senator Tom Daschle joins a cannabis investment company.

Dakota Political Junkies Roger Whittle and Jonathan Ellis join guest host Stephanie Rissler for this week's roundtable. 

Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... April 8, 2019 Show 551 Hour 2

The South Dakota Democratic Party has elected a new chair. Paula Hawks has been a state lawmaker and a candidate for U.S. House.

Hawks recaps the past legislative session and looks ahead at items like legislative interim studies and the 2020 election.

In The Moment ... February 12, 2019 Show 514 Hour 2

Senate Minority Leader Troy Heinert and House Minority Leader Jamie Smith provide perspective from the Democratic Party on the 2019 legislative session currently underway in Pierre.

Steve Munsen

In The Moment ... January 9, 2019 Show 491 Hour 2

The state's Democratic leaders, Senator Troy Heinert and Representative Jamie Smith, discuss Governor Noem's State of the State address and provide a preview of the 2019 legislative session in Pierre.

Meet The Candidate: Debra Smith

Aug 10, 2018
Debra Smith

In The Moment ... August 9, 2018 Show 397 Hour 2

Debra Smith is a Democratic candidate for the South Dakota House of Representatives in District 26B.  From Vivian, Smith is a high school teacher in the Lyman school district.

Among Smith's concerns are education and the uncertainty of how a new governor will address it along with teacher pay and the imbalance between Republicans and Democrats in the legislature.

In The Moment ... June 14, 2018 Show 358 Hour 1

As South Dakota Democrats get ready to gather for their statewide convention, delegates weigh their choices for Constitutional officers. For a look at the process, we welcome one of the Democratic candidates for Attorney General, Randy Seiler.

Dakota Poltical Junkies Talk Dem Convention And AG

Jun 13, 2018

In The Moment ... June 13, 2018 Show 357 Hour 2

Dakota Political Junkies Jonathan Ellis and Denise Ross discuss the upcoming state convention for Democrats, the race for Attorney General, Senator John Thune and the 2018 Farm Bill.

The Junkies convene every Wednesday at 12:06 p.m Central/11:06 a.m. Mountain on In The Moment.

In The Moment ... November 7, 2017 Show 215 Hour 2 

Tim Bjorkman is a 5th generation South Dakotan who says running for Congress wasn't on his radar until recently.

​Bjorkman graduated from Kimball High School and USD. He served as a lawyer in the state for more than 20 years.

In 2006, he was elected as a judge of the First Judicial Circuit for South Dakota. He was re-elected without opposition in 2014, where he served until leaving the bench in June 2017.

Melissa Hamersma

Dakota Political Junkies Dana Ferguson and Jonathan Ellis of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader delve into results of some of South Dakota's legislative elections held Tuesday. They discuss the makeup of the legislature for the session that begins in January.


SDPB's Kealey Bultena covered South Dakota Democratic Party headquarters Tuesday night. She joined Dakota Midday to share what Democratic candidates had to say after the vote was in.

You can hear Paula Hawks' speech in its entirety at this link. 
For more details from Jay Williams, click here. 

Paula Hawks Thanks Supporters

Nov 8, 2016
Nate Wek

Paula Hawks took time to thank her supporters at the South Dakota Democratic Party gathering in Sioux Falls Tuesday night. Hawks said she had fun running against incumbent Republican Kristi Noem who was elected to another two-year term to the U.S. House of Representatives. She encouraged members of the Democratic Party to come together and get involved.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting crews spoke with State Lawmaker Paula Hawks after her speech.  

Jay Williams Addresses Supporters

Nov 8, 2016
Nate Wek

U.S. Senate candidate Jay Williams addressed his supporters at Democratic Party headquarters in Sioux Falls Tuesday night. Williams listed items that he hopes Senator John Thune will work on during his third term as a Senator in Washington, D.C.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting met up with Jay Williams after his speech on Tuesday night in Sioux Falls.

Paula Hawks

The Democratic National Convention is taking place this week in Philadelphia. The convention is attended by South Dakota delegates including State Representative Paula Hawks.

Hawks joins Dakota Midday to discuss the convention so far and where the party stands in South Dakota and as a whole.

State flags are flying half-staff in honor of Frank Denholm today. . He represented South Dakota in the US House of Representatives from 1971 to 1975.

Historian and author Jon Lauck interviewed Frank Denholm just a few months ago. Lauck talks with Midday host Lori Walsh  about the man many say South Dakota has forgotten.

The Dakota Political Junkies discuss this week's South Dakota headlines. Denise Ross is an editor with Black Hills Knowledge Network/South Dakota Dashboard. Roger Whittle is managing editor of the Watertown Public Opinion. Today's conversation highlights the impact of President Obama's executive order to expand background checks on gun purchases.

Ross and Whittle also weigh in on the continuing Keystone XL Pipeline debate, what voters have to say on the subject of a wheel tax in Pennington County, and why Democrats are suffering in South Dakota.

The Federal Government is citing administrative issues in ending South Dakota’s participation in a foreign investment-for-green-card program, known as E-B-5.  The U-S Citizenship and Immigration Services has ruled the state’s regional center for the program is not promoting economic growth.  Officials add administrators have not submitted required information. SDPB’s Gary Ellenbolt has more.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The attorney for the South Dakota Democratic Party says the man who ran the EB-5 program fraudulently acted as a legal representative for the state.

It’s the latest in on-going discussions related to the way South Dakota used to administer an immigrant visa program. Federally-authorized EB-5 operations give foreign investors green cards when they put money into American enterprises.

Attorney Patrick Duffy says former state employee Joop Bollen masqueraded as a lawyer when an investor headhunter sued his business – and dragged the state of South Dakota into the lawsuit.