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Latest News & Blog

Democrats Welcome Tim Bjorkman to Race for U.S. House →


Democrats Welcome Retired Judge Tim Bjorkman to Race for U.S. House

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson responding to retired circuit court judge Tim Bjorkman declaring his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for South Dakota’s U.S. House seat:

“On behalf of the SoTim-Bjorkmanuth Dakota Democratic Party, I would like to welcome Judge Bjorkman to the race for Congress, and wish him the best of luck. He has a distinguished record as a circuit court judge, and will be a strong fighter for South Dakota families in Washington. Given Kristi Noem’s record in the House of putting her own career and partisan interest ahead of the people she was elected to serve, South Dakotans are ready for a change. Unlike Dusty Johnson and Shantel Krebs, who will continue the Noem record of marching in lockstep with the Washington establishment, Tim Bjorkman will put the people of South Dakota first.

“The announcements of Sen. Billie Sutton for Governor and Judge Bjorkman for Congress show the quality of candidates South Dakota Democrats have ready to run for statewide office in 2018. We look forward to announcements from other potential candidates in the months to come.”


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SDDP Responds to New Senate GOP Health Care Repeal Bill



SDDP Executive Director Responds to New Senate GOP Health Care Repeal Bill 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson responding to the release of the latest health care repeal bill from Senate Republicans:

“The new legislative language doesn’t change the fundamental truth about the Senate GOP bill: it is a cruel bill that will hurt South Dakota families who are working hard to afford health care. Like the last version, this bill will kick millions of people off their health insurance and force older, sicker, and low-income Americans to pay more for less care. We call on Senators Thune and Rounds to oppose this bill and finally sit down with Senate Democrats to work on bi-partisan solutions to the problems in our health care system. Democrats will continue to fight for affordable health care for every American and to hold Republicans accountable for their attack on the health and economic security of the people of South Dakota.”

Key takeaways from the Senate bill:

  • Includes the same devastating cuts to the Medicaid program that will cause millions fewer people to have insurance.
  • Will drive up premiums for sicker Americans and allow insurance companies to charge older Americans five times more than younger people.
  • Includes giveaways to insurers and lets them sell skimpier plans that do not meet ACA requirements, including preventive care and mental and substance abuse treatment.
  • Incorporates Ted Cruz’s disastrous idea that would send individual insurance markets into a death spiral, while middle-class families with medical needs could see their out-of-pocket costs soar.
  • Looks out for the wealthy with the expansion of tax-advantaged health savings accounts.
  • Allows insurers to sell plans that don’t cover maternity care.


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Letter to the Editor from Our National Commiteeman

How can Christians support health bill?

South Dakota Democratic Party National Commiteeman Bill Walsh had the following letter to the editor published in the Rapid City Journal last week:

Bill WalshAs a person of faith, I am shocked by the meanness and cruelty of the Senate health care bill. We are admonished by scripture to care for the poor, the widow, and the orphan, and Jesus tells us that as we do to “the least of these,” we do to him.

This bill is a kick in the teeth the people the Bible tells us to protect. It will increase costs for working families and take health care away from 22 million Americans, including tens of thousands of South Dakotans. The cuts in the bill to the Medicaid program will devastate the poor and rural areas of our state, and be disaster for women, tribal communities, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor. At the same time, millionaires and billionaires would receive a tax cut.

I know our congressional delegation is of Christian faith. I would encourage them to spend some more time in scripture and prayer. In my professional opinion, I do not see how a Christian in good conscience can support the present Senate bill. l pray that they see the light, repent and help defeat this cruel bill.
Bill Walsh,
SDDP National Committeeman

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SDDP Announces Town Hall on Tribal Issues 


South Dakota Democratic Party Announces Town Hall on Tribal Issues 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party (SDDP) will hold a Town Hall on Tribal Issues this FridayJuly 7, at 3:00 p.m. at the Fort Randall Casino and Hotel, located near Pickstown, SD. The event will include an introduction from former State Legislator Larry Lucas and remarks from Sen. Troy Heinert, Rep. Shawn Bordeaux, and J.R. LaPlante, Director of Tribal Relations for Avera Health and former Secretary of Tribal Relations for the State of South Dakota. After opening remarks, Sen. Heinert, Rep. Bordeaux, and Mr. LaPlante will take questions from those in attendance.
“Democrats are committed to building stronger relationships with the tribal communities,” said Sam Parkinson, SDDP Executive Director. “This town hall, along with our efforts to organize and register voters in every reservation and tribal community this summer, show how serious these efforts are.”

Parkinson also noted that the Democratic priority of holding a town hall on tribal issues, on tribal lands, demonstrated a sharp contrast between the SDDP and South Dakota’s congressional delegation, who have not held a town hall on tribal issues or tribal lands this year.

“Rep. Noem and Senators Rounds and Thune might not think it is a priority to hear the concerns of voters in tribal communities, but Democrats do,” Parkinson said.


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SDDP Chair Calls on Krebs to Protect the Privacy of SD Voters


SDDP Chair Calls on Krebs to Protect the Privacy of South Dakota Voters 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Chairwoman Ann Tornberg responding to the Trump administration requesting the personal data of registered voters from all 50 states:

“I call on Secretary of State Shantel Krebs to join with Secretaries of State from around the country in pledging not to comply with the request for the sensitive personal information of the voters in their state. I hope she feels protecting the private personal information of the voters of South Dakota is more important than complying with these efforts from the so-called “voter integrity” commission to score points in a Republican primary.”


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