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1974 McGovern Senate Announcement (w Sen. McGovern)

Join the Rapid Response Team!

The South Dakota Democratic Party is launching a Rapid Response Team to hold the Republican Party accountable here in South Dakota and in Washington, D.C. 

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The South Dakota Democratic Party is launching a Rapid Response Team to hold the Republican Party accountable here in South Dakota and in Washington, D.C.

Rapid response team members will receive regular calls to action through:

  • Texts,
  • A private Facebook group, and
  • An email listserv.

These actions range from social media message shares to calling your state legislators and South Dakota’s congressional delegation. Team members might also have the opportunity to organize events and rallies.

If you are ready to take action, sign up here!

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Democrats Respond to Governor’s Budget Address

SIOUX FALLS – The South Dakota Democratic Democratic Party released the following statement in response to today’s Budget Address by Gov. Dennis Daugaard, where it was confirmed that for the second time in three fiscal years (FY 2015 and 2017), revenues have not met adopted projections:

“GOP policy failures have led the state to once again miss budget projections. Not only that, but farm income was down $1.5 billion last year, and new hires were down 18.7% from last year this October. The Governor’s Address was long on the details of the challenges facing the state in slow revenue growth, but short on detail on what, if anything, he might do to promote economic development.”

“Republicans have had the power to implement the policies they’ve wanted in our state for years now, which we were told over and over again would lead to incredible prosperity and where everything would be great for everybody – businesses, farmers, workers, and state government. It’s obvious now, if it wasn’t before, that they have failed to deliver on their promises. It is crystal clear that this is a time for real leadership in state government and not the same old tired way of doing business that got us here.”

“Democrats will lead in this year’s Legislative Session by pursuing a pro-economic growth legislative agenda that is focused on making South Dakota work for all South Dakotans and increase the transparency and accountability in state government to make sure budgetary decisions are made in the best interest of the State’s people and not to reward the friends and contributors of the political establishment.”


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Democratic Legislative Leaders Selected


Democratic Legislative Leaders Selected

At meetings of the Democratic Caucuses of the South Dakota State House and Senate, Democratic legislators selected their caucus leaders for the upcoming Legislative Session. The names of the leaders and their hometowns are as follows:


Democratic Leader – Billie Sutton, Burke

Assistant Democratic Leader – Troy Heinert, Mission

Whip – Jason Frerichs, Wilmot


Democratic Leader – Spence Hawley, Brookings

Assistant Democratic Leader – Julie Bartling, Gregory

Whip – Karen Soli, Sioux Falls

Whip – Susan Wismer, Britton

“It’s an honor to be chosen by my colleagues to continue leading the House Democratic Caucus,” said Rep. Spence Hawley. “Though we are in the minority, we can still get things done for the people of South Dakota if we work together, stand on our principles when necessary, and also aren’t afraid to reach out to our colleagues across the aisle as we did on the vote to increase education funding last session. I can say on behalf the Caucus that Democrats intend to continue following that model the next two years.”

“I appreciate the trust my fellow senators placed in me by re-electing me as their leader,” said Sen. Billie Sutton. “Senate Democrats will work hard, work smart, and work together with any willing partner to improve the lives of South Dakota families. On issues like criminal justice reform and infrastructure and education funding, Democrats were proud to work with the Governor and our Republican colleagues to move South Dakota forward. But when necessary, as in demanding more honesty and accountability in state government, Democrats will stand our ground and call on Republicans to do better for the people of South Dakota.”

Pictures of Sen. Billie Sutton (left) and Rep. Spence Hawley (right) are below.



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Statement on Gov. Daugaard Abandoning Efforts to Expand Medicaid


SDDP Statement on Governor Daugaard Abandoning Efforts to Expand Medicaid 

SIOUX FALLS – The South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Suzanne Jones Pranger issued the following statement today regarding Governor Dennis Daugaard’s decision not to pursue Medicaid expansion in the 2017 Legislative Session:

“Democrats are deeply disappointed by Gov. Daugaard’s decision. Expanding Medicaid would have expanded access to healthcare for over 50,000 South Dakotans, provided much needed financial support to health care providers and local governments, and would have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into South Dakota’s economy. Because of the policy update from CMS on the federal reimbursement for Medicaid-eligible Native Americans, our state would have saved the $57 million in state funds needed to pay for expansion. This update would have also helped to improve healthcare for Native American families in South Dakota.

“While many opponents cited budgetary concerns, South Dakota’s plan to expand Medicaid would not have added a single penny to state expenditures. If anything, due to the economic development spurred by expanded healthcare coverage, it was almost certain to be a net positive for our state budget.

“It is unfortunate that due to the obstruction and intransigence of so many members of the Republican majority, those potential benefits to our state appear to be lost. The people of South Dakota deserve better than this, and Democrats will continue to work to move our state forward with smart policies like expanding Medicaid which would not only close the healthcare coverage gap but would also be good for our state’s economy and our communities.”


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SDDP Statement on Jackley Gubernatorial Announcement


SDDP Statement on Jackley Gubernatorial Announcement

SIOUX FALLS – South Dakota Democratic Party issued the following statement today in response to South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley’s announcement that he is running for Governor in 2018:

“Just like Kristi Noem, his opponent in the Republican primary for Governor, Marty Jackley has long made it clear he prioritizes his career advancement over fulfilling the duties he was entrusted with by the people of South Dakota. His weak and delayed response to government scandals, such as waiting until after the 2014 election to file charges in the EB-5 case, show he was more concerned with political expedience than seeing justice done. Instead of focusing on South Dakota issues, he frequently expended precious taxpayer resources on frivolous lawsuits.

“South Dakota needs change in Pierre, not the same old unreasonable and out-of-touch policies offered by Marty Jackley and Kristi Noem. Over the next two years, South Dakota Democrats and our candidates will offer an alternative vision of a state government that works for everyone, not just the powerful and well-connected, while reflecting South Dakota values such as fairness, rewarding hard work, and revitalizing our rural and urban communities.”

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