Jeff Barth, the man to rebuild the South Dakota Democratic Party?

Jeff Barth, the man to rebuild the South Dakota Democratic Party?

Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth is the only Democrat so far to say he wants the job of state party chair. Barth isn't waiting for Rick Weiland to decide whether the chair would suit him; Barth has issued a hefty press release listing his qualifications and plans for the job.

I yield the floor to Barth's pitch for the job:

Jeff Barth a Democrat for State Chair

The position of State Party Chair has never been done perfectly. It has been done successfully. In seeking the position I plan for and expect success.

I bring to the position a number of important qualities.

Working for 31 years at the “Bell” telephone company climbing poles and digging holes I served my fellow workers as a steward, an officer and then as President of the Sioux Falls Trades & Labor Assembly.

As a faithful Democrat I have stuffed envelopes, made phone calls, gone door to door, collected signatures, run for public office and served in multiple Party positions. Twice I attended our State Convention as Minnehaha Chair, both times with a full slate of Delegates and Alternates.

  • Elected three times I am one of few Democrats to win in the 2010 and 2014, Republican Wave years.
  • I was the leading Democratic vote getter in Minnehaha County in 2014. Obama won Minnehaha in 2008 and our statewide candidates need to do well in Minnehaha to be elected.
  • The first candidate to appear on YouTube (in my 2006 campaign).
  • The first South Dakota candidate to have a campaign video to go viral.
  • I was the first statewide Democratic candidate to support gender equality in marriage and am a longtime supporter of Choice.

As a County Commissioner for eight years I have shared responsibility for administrating a $70M+ budget with a staff of over 500. Working as the only Democrat on the Board I have fought hard and been a sensible voice for all the people of my county. Pipelines, criminal justice, drainage, CAFOs, Ag property taxes, an aggressive “Big City” Mayor along with rapid growth are among the issues regularly addressed.

Of me David Montgomery with the Argus leader says “Barth is notably outspoken. In just recent months, he filed a lawsuit against Mike Rounds and others about EB-5 and has excoriated the county auditor for vote-counting delays.”

As your State Party Chair I will work with Staff to:

  • Continue the fight for Party funding within the State and elsewhere. I have already reached out to the DNC and others.
  • Travel across the State building local parties and recruiting activists, young and old. From personal contact to Farmer Union meetings to Union Halls, from conferences to conventions from Pow Wows to Rodeos, I’ll go to where the people are. And, I will make it a priority for the Party staff to spend most of its time helping County parties do their job. We can't have a healthy State party without well organized and robust County parties.
  • Engage minorities into leadership and as candidates for election. Our Party is too White.
  • Engage young people into leadership and as candidates and continue the Yell program. Our party is too old.
  • Hold regular Party meetings and clean up wording in our Constitution.

In asking for your vote I would remind everyone that, “Individuals can’t win. Factions don’t win. Teams win”. I can do the job. Join the team.

Thank you,

Jeff Barth [e-mail, 2014.11.25]

South Dakota Democrats, is that the man and the plan for you?