BROOKINGS – Pamela Merchant Cole, a former longtime Brookings resident, has been named executive director of the South Dakota Democratic Party.
Cole, who was a member of the Brookings County Democrats, lived and worked in Brookings for 20 years.
She operated her own graphic design business while in Brookings and also worked as a grant writer for Brookings Habitat for Humanity. She also has experience as a volunteer coordinator for a major healthcare provider.
Cole was a member of Brookings Rotary Club and Toastmasters and served on many other community committees, including the Middle School PTA for many years.
She was elected to the Brookings School Board and successfully ran for the South Dakota Senate in 2008, serving until 2010. In Pierre she advocated removing tax from food, increasing aid to education, and improving life for children in the state. She successfully recruited Republican and Democrats to support the legislation.
Cole began a trip to the Legislature for middle school students each year and raised money to support it. She was active in the statewide Young Elected Legislative Leaders program in Pierre, which trains high school students in the legislative process.
She moved to Sioux Falls in 2016 and continued involvement with politics. In preparation for this job she has been volunteering with the state party.
“I am so excited about this new adventure,” Cole said. “It will be a privilege to help the people of our state. Please let me know if you want to volunteer, run for office, or know of any other people who might want to work with progressive issues. We will work together to make positive change.”
“We have a team that has worked very hard in the last few months to put the party back on the right track to ensure a great 2020 election season,” SDDP Chair Randy Seiler said. “Part of that restructure involved finding the right executive director, someone with enthusiasm, commitment and pride in the duties of the position. Pam has the experience and talents we were looking for.”
The state party will hold a meet and greet with Cole later. She begins her new job March 1.
“It’s important that our members get a chance to visit and learn about what 2020 holds for the party. I’m really excited about this opportunity and to be part of this team. This is a role I am honored to be in,” Cole added.