South Dakota state Senate leader: Change Republican Party nomination rules or else
'Near as I can tell, these people hate Republicans.' Convention stir prompts calls for change in how party picks state candidates
The top GOP lawmaker in the South Dakota state Senate says it’s time to change the way his political party nominates candidates for state constitutional offices.
And if the state Republican Party won’t do it, he’s threatening to use the legislative process to take nominations out of the hands of GOP delegates during the party’s conventions.
Senate President Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck in a recent interview with The Dakota Scout said divides within the state GOP have grown so stark that the way the party picks candidates for secretary of state, attorney general and lieutenant governor is no longer representative of Republicans at large.
“Near as I can tell, these people hate Republicans,” the Watertown Republican said while referring to GOP delegates responsible for nearly upsetting the nominations of Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden and Attorney General candidate Marty Jackley at the South Dakota Republican Party Convention.
Those same delegates are also behind Secretary of State Steve Barnett’s ouster from office come January after he lost his nomination bid to former Secretary of State employee Monae Johnson.
Dan Lederman, the state GOP chairman, did not respond to numerous requests for comment.
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