The new chairman of the Republican Party in South Dakota hopes to ride a national wave that has brought people into the fold who want to be involved in the political process.

Former legislator Dan Lederman of Dakota Dunes mounted a successful challenge to unseat Pam Roberts as leader of the GOP in South Dakota. Lederman notes that about 40 percent of the people who were at the central committee meeting were first-timers and believes President Trump has been the catalyst.

“When I got up to speak, I could feel it in the room that people were excited and looking to get involved. I think that’s the theme that’s been happening across the country when we saw these large turnouts for Donald Trump when he was on the campaign trail. He claimed that new people were coming into the Republican party. He wasn’t lying.”

Millennial voters will be the obvious target for Republicans with Lederman stating that the party will need to appeal to that age group.

“A challenge for the South Dakota Republican party is how to speak to young people using social media platforms. That’s where the next generation gets their news. When young people know what the Republican Party stands for they will want to vote for a Republican candidate.”

Lederman also believes that when labels like “Tea Party” or “Moderate” are placed on Republicans, it alienates people from getting engaged.

Currently, Republicans hold all statewide elected offices and 85 percent of the seats in the South Dakota Legislature.

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