GOP starts picking convention delegatesSouth Dakota Republicans will start the process to choose delegates for the Republican National Convention tonight.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
South Dakota Republicans will start the process to choose delegates for the Republican National Convention tonight.
Democrats will begin the process to pick delegates on March 10.
The Davison County Republicans will meet at 8 p.m. today at Prairie Crossings Assisted Living, 2211 N. Wisconsin St.
The local Republicans will try to select up to three delegates for every Republican presidential candidate who will appear on the June 5 primary ballot, as well as three uncommitted delegates.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich and Texas Congressman Ron Paul are all declared Republican candidates and have filed an intent to run in the June 5 primary, according to Secretary of State Jason Gant.
The state Republican Party must submit a list of candidates and a field of would-be delegates to the GOP National Convention by March 27 to qualify for the June 5 primary, Gant said.
President Obama is unopposed for the Democratic nomination for president, so there will be no Democratic primary.
Davison County Republican Party Chairwoman Donna Weiland said she hasn’t heard from anyone locally who wants to try to become a delegate to the Republican National Convention, which will be held in Tampa Bay, Fla., Aug. 27-30.
“I had some people who wanted to be (Herman) Cain delegates, but he’s out now,” Weiland said.
If anyone is selected as a potential delegate, the next step is a regional caucus. Six will be held in the state on Saturday, March 10.
Davison County is in Region 2 with Douglas, Hutchinson, Turner, Lincoln, Bon Homme and Yankton counties. The state caucus will be held the same day once the regional caucuses conclude. All the caucuses will be held in Fort Pierre.
The South Dakota Republican Party will send 28 delegates and 25 alternates to the national GOP gathering.
State Party Chairman Tim Rave and National Committeewoman Mary Jean Jensen and National Committeeman Dana Randall are assured slots.
The other 25 delegates and their alternates will be selected based on the percentage of the vote their candidates receive in the June 5 primary.
Sen. John Thune is the chairman of the South Dakota Romney campaign and will be the first Romney delegate selected from the state, according to South Dakota Republican Party Executive Director Tony Post.
State Democrats also have a long process to pick delegates to their national gathering, set for Sept. 3-6 at Tampa Bay, Fla. South Dakota will cast 24 votes at the convention and will send 24 delegates and three alternates.
The Davison County Democratic Party will choose seven candidates to be delegates and three alternates at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 10. The local Democrats will meet at Lifequest, 804 N. Mentzer St.
The state Congressional District Caucus will be held in Pierre at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 24. At that meeting, 11 delegates and two alternates will be chosen.
Seven more delegates are elected at the South Dakota Democratic Party Convention, set for June 15-16 in Aberdeen.
The national party rules automatically make seven South Dakotans, who are elected leaders and state party leaders, national convention delegates.
Nesselhuf said the national party rules call for South Dakota’s delegation to be balanced between genders and should also reflect the state’s population of minorities.