Recap of Democrat Convention held in Oacoma

OACOMA, S.D.(Press Release)- The South Dakota Democratic Party held its 2024 State Convention on June 14 and 15 in Oacoma, SD.

During the convention, Democrats adopted their 2024 platform for issues ranging from agriculture and rural development to human rights and health care. Forrest Wilson was elected as candidate for Public Utilities Commission. Wilson is from Lead, S.D., and works for a local non-profit.

“South Dakotans deserve a Public Utilities Commissioner who will advocate for the everyday utility rate payer. Right now, we don’t have that.”

The SDDP also elected their Democratic National Committeeman, Dennis Olson, and Democratic National Committeewoman, Deb Knecht. These positions are crucial to make sure South Dakota issues and concerns are heard on the national level.

“Dennis and I are honored to continue representing the SD Democratic Party sharing our Midwest values at the national level,” Knecht said.

The state convention wrapped up with the selection the PLEO and At-Large delegates to the DNC National Convention held in Chicago, Aug. 19-22, 2024. State Senator Reynold Nesiba and Representative Peri Pourier were selected as PLEOs. Donn Larson, Suzi Larson, Larry Olsen and Frank Kloucek were selected to be the At-Large Delegates. The state party chair, vice chair and the DNC National Committeeman and Committeewoman will serve as automatic delegates. They will join the district level delegates selected at the March 23 meeting in Pierre. The District Level Delegates include Peggy Gibson, Kellen Returns From Scout, Mohamed Mohamed, Erik Muckey, Julian Beaudion, BJ Motley, Emirra Returns, Linda Duba, Erin Royer and Leslie Gerrish.

“This was an amazing state convention to really rev up our county parties and candidates as we head into the November election,” said SD Democratic Party Chair Shane Merrill. “I am so proud of the people who attended the convention to have tough conversations to make sure the state Democratic Party is on the right track. It’s these types of gatherings that are strengthening our party and making sure we best represent what the people of South Dakota want. Now it’s time to focus on electing more Democrats this November!”

For questions, you can contact the SDDP Executive Director Dan Ahlers at or contact the state party office by phone at 605-271-5405 or 605-940-3071.