Noem administration hires a former Trump campaign staffer as state health spokesman

Capitol News Bureau
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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Department of Health plans to bring aboard Daniel Bucheli next month as communications director.

Bucheli has spent the past decade working in communications roles, mostly in various federal political positions in Washington, D.C., and the neighboring area.

He will succeed Derrick Haskins, who recently departed as communications director. Haskins’ annual salary was $67,328.02.

Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said Bucheli last worked for U.S. Rep. Ross Spano, a Florida Republican.

Spano lost a re-election bid this year and has been under federal investigation.

According to his resume on LinkedIn, Bucheli was communications director for Spano starting in February. Bucheli previously was deputy press secretary at Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., from May 2019 to January.

“He indicated an interest in moving to South Dakota and shared his resume with Maggie Seidel who passed it on,” state Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said Monday. “I am very excited to have someone of Daniel’s caliber join DOH and support our communications and outreach strategies.”

Seidel is senior policy advisor to Governor Kristi Noem. Seidel moved to South Dakota last year from the Washington, D.C., area. During the past year the governor has filled a variety of senior staff positions with people from outside South Dakota. Noem traveled to other states to campaign for Trump’s re-election.

Since 2010, Bucheli served in roles for three other U.S. representatives, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. House Republican conference, the federal Office of National Drug Control Policy, and a mayor of Annapolis, Maryland.

He holds a bachelor degree in government and world affairs from the University of Tampa and a master degree in public policy political communication from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

An email sent to Haskins’ state-government account Monday drew this reply: “I am not longer with the Department of Health.  Please contact the DOH communications team at: covidmedia@state.sd.us.”

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