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At-Large and PLEO Delegates Selected for National Convention

Democrats Select At-Large and PLEO Delegates for National Convention


The South Dakota Democratic Party’s Central Committee selected At-Large and Party Leader and Elected Official (PLEO) Delegates to the Democratic National Convention at its meeting Saturday, June 25.

Because of the close result in South Dakota’s June 7 Presidential Primary in which Secretary Hillary Clinton garnered 51 percent of the vote and Senator Bernie Sanders received 49 percent, each candidate was awarded one PLEO and two At-Large delegates.

The PLEO and At-Large delegates selected were:

Sanders Delegates

PLEO: Mark Winegar

At-Large: Rachel Caesar and Randall Sanderson

Clinton Delegates

PLEO: Paula Hawks

At-Large: Rick Weiland and Jennifer Slaight-Hansen.

South Dakota will have a total of 25 voting delegates at the Democratic National Convention, held in Philadelphia July 25-28. Twenty of those delegates are pledged to a presidential candidate and awarded proportionally based on the results of the June 7th Democratic Primary Election. Along with the two PLEO and four At-Large Delegates selected Saturday, fourteen District-Level Delegates were selected at a Statewide Caucus held in March in Pierre:

Sanders District-Level Delegates

Alli Moran, Dylan Workman, Clara Hart, Cully Williams, Margaret Potts, Paul Schipper*, Allison Renville, Alternate: John Stielow

Clinton District-Level Delegates

Scott Parsley, Carrie Ackerman Rice, Shawn Bordeaux, Lee Ann Pierce, BJ Motley, Cecilia Firethunder, Jeff Wilka, Alternate: Rachelle Norberg

South Dakota has five unpledged delegates: Former Senator Tom Daschle, State Chair Ann Tornberg, State Vice-Chair Joe Lowe, State Democratic National Committeewoman Sharon Stroschein, and State Democratic National Committeeman Bill Walsh. Walsh was selected by the State Central Committee at its meeting to complete the term of former Committeeman Nick Nemec, and was elected to a full four-year term by the South Dakota Democratic State Convention earlier Saturday.

*Paul Schipper replaced Miller Cannizzaro on June 17, 2016


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Democrats Nominate Red Cloud for Public Utilities Commissioner

Pine Ridge entrepreneur Henry Red Cloud was selected by the South Dakota Democratic Party as its nominee for Public Utilities Commission at its State Convention Saturday.

“I am honored to be nominated,” Red Cloud said. “I am eager to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing consumers and utility companies in South Dakota, especially the opportunity we have to make South Dakota a leader in producing renewable energy.”

Red Cloud is the direct 5th generation descendant of Chief Red Cloud, one of the last Lakota war chiefs.  He was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, home of the Oglala Lakota Nation. For more than a decade, Red Cloud has devoted himself to developing his expertise with renewable energy applications that are environmentally sound, economically beneficial, and culturally appropriate.

Red Cloud is the founder and owner of Lakota Solar Enterprises (LSE), based on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. One of the first 100% Native American-owned and operated renewable energy companies in the nation, LSE employs tribal members to manufacture and install efficient solar air heating systems for Native American families living on reservations across the Great Plains. Red Cloud also co-manages the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC), a one-of-a-kind educational facility where tribes from around the U.S. receive hands-on green job training in renewable energy technology and sustainable building practices.

Red Cloud calls himself a “twenty-first century Lakota Warrior, bringing green technology and employment to Native American communities.”

Red Cloud’s efforts to bring renewable energy to tribal lands have been recognized nationally and internationally, including the following awards:

  • Most Creative People (Fast Company), 2015
  • White House Champion of Change for Solar Deployment, 2014
  • Oglala Lakota Service Award, 2014
  • Berea College Service Award, 2014
  • Charles Greeley Abbot Award (American Solar Energy Society), 2013
  • World Energy Globe Award, 2012
  • Annual Innovation Award (Interstate Renewable Energy Council), 2010
  • Nuclear Free Future Award, 2010
  • Innovative Idea Champion (Corporation for Enterprise), 2009


Henry Red Cloud

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Gov. Tom Vilsack to Speak at SDDP Convention Banquet

Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack to Speak at SDDP Convention Banquet


The South Dakota Democratic Party today announced Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack will speak at its State Party Convention Banquet set for the night of Friday, June 24.

“We are excited to welcome Gov. Vilsack to our Convention and look forward to hearing his message on why Democrats offer the best solutions to improve the lives of farmers and producers of South Dakota and the rest of the country,” said SDDP Executive Director Suzanne Jones Pranger. “He is a strong advocate on behalf of America’s agricultural communities, and we look forward to hearing his perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing the farm families of our country.”

Former Maryland Governor and 2016 presidential candidate Martin O’Malley, U.S. House candidate Paula Hawks, and U.S. Senate candidate Jay Williams will also address the Convention Banquet.

Vilsack is the 30th United States Secretary of Agriculture.

Before being appointed to his position by President Barack Obama in 2009, Vilsack served two terms as Governor of Iowa from 1999 to 2007 – the first Democrat elected Governor of Iowa in 30 years. During his tenure as Governor, Vilsack sat on the National Governors Association Executive Committee and was chair of the Governors Ethanol Commission and chair of the Democratic Governors Association.

Vilsack was a member of the Iowa State Senate from 1993 to 1999 and was Mayor of Mount Pleasant, Iowa from 1987 to 1992. Before becoming mayor, he practiced law in Mount Pleasant.

Vilsack and his wife, Christie, have two adult sons and four grandchildren.

The SDDP state convention will meet June 24-25 at the Holiday Inn City Centre in Sioux Falls.



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SDDP Executive Director Statement on the IHS Hearings in Rapid City

  SDDP Executive Director Statement on the IHS Hearings in Rapid City


South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Suzanne Jones Pranger issued the following statement on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs holding a town hall and field hearing today and tomorrow in Rapid City on crisis in the Indian Health Service and the “IHS Accountability Act of 2016,” co-sponsored by Sen. John Thune.

“While IHS leaders must be held accountable for their agency’s failures, Republicans in Congress who supported the Budget Control Act of 2011 (also known as “the sequester”) and then steadfastly refused to address IHS funding until now – including Senator Thune – should be held accountable as well. This lack of action has denied much-needed resources to tribal communities, and helped bring about the current crisis.

“We are glad this issue is finally receiving the attention it deserves, and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is holding hearings in South Dakota. We welcome the committee and its staff, especially Chairman Barasso, to our state. Resolving this crisis and improving health care service and access for tribal communities is vital for well-being of thousands of South Dakotans, and must happen without delay. We hope the stories shared in Rapid City yesterday and today inform the committee’s deliberations and lead to solutions.”


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Gov. Martin O’Malley to Be Convention Banquet Special Guest Speaker

The SDDP Announces Gov. Martin O’Malley as Convention Banquet Special Guest Speaker  

GovernorOMalleyL - (638x800)

The South Dakota Democratic Party today announced Former Maryland Governor and presidential candidate Martin O’Malley as the special guest speaker at its State Party Convention Banquet set for the night of Friday, June 24.

“We are working hard to organize our State Convention and are pleased to announce Gov. Martin O’Malley will be our special guest banquet speaker on Friday, June 24,” said SDDP Chair Ann Tornberg. “He is a passionate speaker and his message on core Democratic values such as inclusion, empowerment, and expanded opportunity for all will be an important message as we unite as a Party for the General Election. We are also pleased our U.S. House candidate Paula Hawks and U.S. Senate candidate Jay Williams will be addressing the convention delegates at the banquet as well.”

Martin O’Malley served as Governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015. Under his leadership, Maryland recovered 100 percent of the jobs lost during the national recession and was one of seven states to maintain a AAA bond rating. The College Board organization named Maryland one of the top states in the nation in holding down the cost of college tuition, and Education Week recognized Maryland as having the best public schools in America for an unprecedented five years in a row.

O’Malley also took action to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He worked to uplift the dignity of all Marylanders by signing marriage equality into law and passing the DREAM Act to expand the opportunity of a college education to more Marylanders. During his tenure as governor, O’Malley also abolished Maryland’s death penalty. Prior to serving as governor, O’Malley served two terms as the mayor of Baltimore, where TIME named him “one of American’s top five big city mayors.” He also served two terms as Chair of the Democratic Governors Association. Governor O’Malley received his bachelor’s degree from Catholic University and his law degree from the University of Maryland. Governor O’Malley and his wife, Katie, a District Court judge, live in Baltimore with their four children.

The SDDP state convention will meet June 24-25 at the Holiday Inn City Centre in Sioux Falls.


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