Just-re-elected Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth says he’s in to run for the chair of the South Dakota Democratic Party next month.

“I think I have something to contribute to that operation and I’m the right guy,” Barth said. “I’m hoping whomever is better beats me,” he joked. “I’m as good as any and I’m going to try it.”

Barth says his theme is that individuals can’t win, factions can’t win but teams win.

“I’ll continue to work to raise money, build party organizations, work to increase participation of young people, work with unions, teachers, reservations and immigrants,” Barth said.

If he elected, he said the first thing I would do is interview existing staff and see if I can work with them. “I expect that I can,” he said. Barth said he’d find economies in the operation now that general election is over. Then he said he’d travel the state and “encourage democrats in every corner of the state.”

“I think that there’s an issue with unity and a huge issue with apathy,” Barth said “Many of the segments of the party we claim ownership of didn’t show up to vote (this past election). We need a higher level of activism.”

Barth says the party needs to make sure Native Americans are participants in the party and “not an after thought.”

The 63-year-old county commissioner who worked three decades in the telephone industry says state Democrats have to do a better job recruiting candidates.

“We can’t show up at our state convention in four years without a slate of constitutional officers already in,” Barth said.

Barth said he received more votes in Minnehaha County than any Democrat on the ballot this month.

Other names being floated for the chairmanship are defeated U.S. Senate candidate Rick Weiland and defeated legislative candidate Ann Tornberg.