Republicans around the state are meeting Thursday night. This is the one chance the party has to select delegates at the county level. And party leaders say this year, South Dakota has more pull than it has before.
The Minnehaha County GOP office is quiet now, but Thursday night organizers are planning on a room full.
"For those who want to lay around and complain, I would highly recommend that they get out tonight and be a part of it tonight," Minnehaha County Republican Party Chair David B. Rose said.
This is the one night for counties statewide to select local Republican voters who would move on to the state and national conventions.
"We actually have some power this year for South Dakota. That doesn't happen very often, but we're kind of excited about that," Rose said.
Rose says that is because other states lose delegates as they move their primary dates up. Come August, South Dakota will have 30 delegates; that's on par with states known to have influence like South Carolina. Thursday night in Minnehaha County, voters will divide their delegates: six for each declared presidential candidate and six undecided.
"We could be seeing history happen in August. Just like every past convention. There's always a piece of history, something that someone takes away that is remembered forever," Rose said.
All South Dakota delegates chosen Thursday will meet at the state caucus in Pierre on March 10. The 2012 National Republican Convention is held August 27 in Tampa, Florida.