Lawrence & Schiller founder wants to lead state RepublicansIn the past, Democrats have criticized Republican administrations for being too cozy with Lawrence & Schiller.
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic
PIERRE — Gov. Dennis Daugaard has asked Sioux Falls businessman Craig Lawrence, formerly of Lawrence & Schiller, to seek election as the South Dakota Republican Party’s new chairman, according to a news release issued Tuesday.
Lawrence has agreed to serve if approved by vote of the Republican Central Committee in February. Daugaard outlined his reasons for choosing Lawrence in the news release, which was sent by Lawrence himself.
“Right now, our party needs to reinforce the rightness and relevancy of its principles and the record of its performance to new generations of voters,” Daugaard was quoted as saying. “When you need to get the right message out, you find a messager.”
Lawrence, co-founder of Lawrence & Schiller, a 36-year advertising and marketing firm in Sioux Falls, sold his interests in the firm last November.
In the past, Democrats have criticized Republican administrations for being too cozy with Lawrence & Schiller. In 2008, for example, the Rapid City Journal reported that the firm had received millions of dollars in no-bid state contracts during then-Gov. Mike Rounds’ terms while donating thousands to his campaign.
At the time, Scott Lawrence, president of Lawrence & Schiller, said he gladly contributed to Rounds even though he believed “a thousand dollars here and there has zero impact” on whether his firm got state contracts.
Craig Lawrence has worked in GOP campaigns since the 1970s, including those of Bill Janklow, Jim Abdnor, Larry Pressler and Dennis Daugaard. His firm helped develop many marketing campaigns and slogans, including South Dakota’s “Great Faces, Great Places” campaign.
Lawrence said that if elected, he and the party’s executive director, Tony Post, will outline a plan for GOP victory in 2014.
“We know a lot of people will be counting on us to really have our act together,” Lawrence said. “We’ll present a comprehensive plan to the party leaders and candidates for their approval and then get to work. There is much to do.”
Married to his wife, Marcia, for 43 years, Lawrence resides in Lincoln County.