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South Dakota GOP hires North Dakota native as new director

January 25, 2022 GMT

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The new executive director of the South Dakota Republican Party says one of his top goals is to achieve 100% GOP membership in the state Legislature.

North Dakota native Terin Lucero was most recently the director of data analytics for newly elected Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who upset Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the last election.

South Dakota Republicans control 32 of the 35 seats in the Senate and 62 of the 70 slots in the House, but Lucero wants more.

“That’s a pretty lofty goal, but what I wanted to do when I came out here is to help put the party in the best position to achieve that, Lucero said. “If you keep doing that kind of thing, where you kind of get complacent, I guess you can kind of run into issues where the other party can make gains.”

Lucero, a Williston, North Dakota native and graduate of North Dakota State University, is the first new executive director for the South Dakota GOP in five years.

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Dan Lederman, chairman of the state Republican Party, said Lucero’s analytics background should help increase voter registration and help the GOP take aim on the 11 seats currently occupied by Democrats.

“We hope to utilize the skills that Terin has gained with RNC data to have the best ground game on data in the state,” Lederman said

The upcoming election will feature the first legislative races since lawmakers set new political boundaries.