SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Democratic Party has rehired Dan Ahlers as the Executive Director.

Ahlers resigned back in July after accusing former party chair Jennifer Slaight-Hansen of creating a hostile work environment and engaging in activity that violates the party constitution. 

Slaight-Hansen was removed from her position in August.

Shane Merrill, the new SDDP chair, said he and Ahlers have a shared vision for the party in South Dakota. 

“Our renewed focus on rural South Dakota as well as bringing more folks to the table is imperative,” Merrill said in a news release. 

In May, Ahlers told KELOLAND News Democrats in South Dakota are too often defined by opponents. Ahlers said his goal is to see the party grow in South Dakota both in voter registration numbers and candidates elected to the state legislature. 

Merrill told KELOLAND News the recall process with Slaight-Hansen showed how gaps have formed in many rural counties across the state.