I’m told this afternoon that the Sioux Falls advertising and marketing guru is indeed the answer, if the question is this: Who’s been anointed by the powers that be as the new chairman for the South Dakota Republican Party? Craig Lawrence has been vice president for the Lawrence & Schiller public relations company (and is still listed in that role as of the most recent filing of an annual report in October 2012 with the Secretary of State’s office). Lawrence & Schiller handled the gubernatorial campaigns for South Dakota’s past governor, Mike Rounds, and for current Gov. Dennis Daugaard. The company holds various contracts with state government including the tourism contract. Lawrence will need to be approved by the Republicans’ state central committee later this winter. He will succeed state Sen. Tim Rave, R-Baltic, who held the post the past two years and decided against seeking another term.
UPDATE: Friday afternoon, Craig Lawrence let us know that he and Paul Schiller no longer own the company. They were vice president and president, respectively, but sold the company to a group of employees on Nov. 30 pursuant to a 10-year agreement they had. Craig said he and Paul don’t receive any compensation or benefits of any kind from L&S. The corporate records on file with the Secretary of State office haven’t caught up yet with this change of ownership. The most recent annual report for the company was filed in October and showed Paul and Craig as the executives. As to the future, Craig had this to say in an email: “If elected by the GOP Central Committee to the post, I’ll serve with determination and humility. Those who know me best know I believe the best leader is the one who is servant of all.”