The hardest political job in South Dakota now has two candidates. Ann Tornberg publicly joins Jeff Barth in seeking to chair the South Dakota Democratic Party.
Tornberg issued her press release yesterday, one day after Barth sent out his official pitch. Both Tornberg and Barth promise to reinvigorate the county party machine. Both mention the need for more diversity in the party: Tornberg speaks of registering more voters among "diverse constituencies"; Barth promises to recruit more youth and minorities as party leaders and candidates. Both mention a focus on fundraising.
Tornberg's and Barth's opening pitches differ on a few details. Tornberg emphasizes her fundraising skill, noting that she has recruited 20 new members of the Founders Club, the SDDP's base of sustaining donors pledging $120 or more each year. Barth emphasizes his ability to win elections as a Democrat amidst steamrolling Republicans.
Barth is a chess champion; Tornberg is a debate coach. This contest should be fun!
South Dakota Democrats now have two chair candidates from the southern I-29 corridor. If Rick Weiland announces, that would make three. West River, do you have an up-and-comer who'd like to jump in the fray? If these southeast South Dakotans split up the vote, a Black Hills or Pine Ridge candidate could consolidate the West River vote, work on northeast South Dakota, and pull out a victory as the I-29ers split up the big votes.
Sift through the candidate statements and the proportional-voting math, see if you can divine a chair-apparent!
Ann Tornberg announces she is running for SDDP Chair
Beresford, SD - Ann Tornberg, Chair of the Union County Democrats, announced that she is running for South Dakota Democratic Party Chair today. The election will be held among state central committee members on Saturday, December 13th, in Oacoma.
Tornberg released the following statement:
"Our state party has made a lot of progress over the last four years, but we're still not seeing results at the ballot box. I want to help change that.
I'm running for South Dakota Democratic Party Chair because we need to rebuild our county parties, raise money to expand our outreach, recruit a full slate of candidates at the local, state and federal level, and register new voters among diverse constituencies.
Working together from the bottom up, Democrats across the state can build on the progress we've made and fulfill the promise George McGovern instilled in our party to win elections up and down the ballot.
I look forward to hearing new ideas on how we can reach our goals and sharing my ideas during the Chair election and after."
Ann is a proven leader in the South Dakota Democratic Party. Ann is the Union County Democrats Chair, and she's a sitting member of the party's Executive Board. A long time Founders Club member, Ann has personally recruited over 20 new sustaining donors into the Founders Club program. Ann was instrumental in the creation of the first ever Young Elected Legislative Leaders program for high school Democrats, which has already hosted over 80 students in just two years. Last year, she served as House Secretary for Democratic legislators in Pierre and will return to the 2015 Session as Senate Secretary. Ann has run for state legislature, raising over $40,000 in her 2014 bid for state senate.
A retired high school English teacher and former President of the Sioux Falls Education Association, Ann places education funding and the teacher shortage as one of her highest priority issues. She is also a family farm owner and works with groups such as Ag United, SD Dairy Producers, and SD Farmer’s Union to promote agriculture and educate consumers [Ann Tornberg, press release, 2014.11.26].