Former Democratic Party chair loses effort to appeal recall vote
Slaight-Hansen was removed from the position last month
The former chair of the state’s Democratic Party has failed to overturn a unanimous vote to remove her last month.
A 7 member committee, made up of leadership from the state party, determined this week that Jennifer-Slaight Hansen was lawfully recalled from the chair position in August. The decision was made after two days of closed door deliberations.
The state party’s constitution allows removed officers a set period of time to appeal recall decisions through a special committee, appointed by the acting chair. After voting to recall Slaight-Hansen last month, the party’s central committee voted to allow the process to play out over a twenty day period.
Slaight-Hansen, who has declined to comment on the situation since her removal, committed to fighting a vote to recall her prior to the party’s central committee voting to do so.
Now– the Aberdeen native’s only option would be to appeal her removal in court.
Efforts to remove Slaight-Hansen came to a head after former Executive Director Dan Ahlers resigned, citing Slaight-Hansen’s mismanagement of the party. Others accused her of making decisions without going through the proper approval process and of creating a hostile work environment.
Shortly thereafter, leadership from both legislative chambers signed onto a letter calling on Slaight-Hansen’s resignation.
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The party will vote to elect a new party chair during an annual fundraising event later this month in Rapid City.
“The appeals committee has spoken and we respect their decision,” interim chair Shane Merrill told The Dakota Scout. “We are committed to moving forward as a party.”