Democratic Party plans next moves

PIERRE, S.D. (DRG News) – Leaders of the South Dakota Democratic Party met in Fort Pierre over the weekend to start to formulate a plan to rectify the party’s financial woes.

Acting chairman Randy Seiler says the party plans to elect a new chair in December.

Chairwoman Paula Hawks and executive director Stacey Burnette both stepped down last week (Oct. 23) after a Federal Elections Commission report came out showing the party’s federal campaign committee owes nearly $47,000 and has a negative balance of more than $8,000.

Seiler says the party has already made some progress settling its debt.

He says the South Dakota Democratic Party’s state legislators are also involved in the discussions.

An FEC audit earlier this year of the party’s finances for the years 2015 and 2016 found several problems, including failing to disclose debts and vendor obligations.

The party closed its offices in Sioux Falls and Rapid City with its staff working remotely.