Party Leadership

Shane Merrill
Shane MerrillState Party Chair
Shane Merrill became an active democrat at the age of 18 when he got his start working on the Stephanie Herseth Sandlin campaign as well as the Tom Jones for State House campaign. The summer of 2010 was an active one, and lit a fire that still carries today. Merrill became active with the Turner County Democrats attending each meeting for the past 13 years. He was soon elected vice chair and decided to throw his name in the hat for a local city council race in Parker. He was elected the youngest ever in his city at the age of 22, and at the age of 24 ran for state senate, a race he narrowly lost. Merrill stayed active serving two terms on the party executive board and was awarded the Richard Kneip young democrat award in 2022.

Merrill learned the value of hard work growing up on the family dairy farm, and the value of public service at a young age, watching his father and grandfather serve on the local school board, county commission and numerous agriculture boards. Merrill is excited to work on rural issues during his term as state vice and interim chair. Shane looks forward to building a stronger party.

When not working on the farm, you can find Shane coaching baseball for the Parker Pheasants, fishing on the Missouri River or spending time serving his community on numerous local boards.

Jessica Meyers
Jessica MeyersState Party Vice-Chair
Jessica Meyers is a 5th generation South Dakotan. She is co-founder and CEO of PorchLight, a hub for rural workforce development in the Midwest.

While a regional representative on the Executive Board of the Democratic party, Jessica worked to rebuild party infrastructure in the SouthEastern corner of the state for 3 years while running for a state senate seat.

In September of 2023 she was unanimously voted Vice Chair of the South Dakota Democratic Party. In addition to developing her business, she serves as the President of the Transformation Project, a trans advocacy nonprofit based in South Dakota

Larry Olsen
Larry OlsenTreasurer
Toni Diamond
Toni DiamondSecretary
Deb Knecht
Deb KnechtNational Committeewoman
Dennis Olson
Dennis OlsonNational Comitteeman