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Ravnsborg Chosen As Republican Attorney General Candidate

Lee Strubinger

South Dakota Republican delegates are choosing Jason Ravnsborg as their candidate for attorney general in the general election.

The deputy states attorney for Union County beat out State Senator Lance Russell and Lawrence County state’s attorney John Fitzgerald for the nomination.

Moments after being nominated, Jason Ravnsborg says he’s on top of the world. The three-way race for attorney general heated up in the days heading into the GOP convention in Pierre.

Ravnsborg received endorsements from many sheriffs around the state.

He says his nomination proves that hard work pays off.

“I’ve been to every county in our state at least twice. I didn’t just drive by a corner and count it as a county. I stopped and talked to people, like the sheriffs of our state,” Ravsborg says. “I think they have a unique concept about what is happening on the ground. They have to deal with citizens and deal with our drug problem that we’re dealing with and also working with our state’s attorneys. Those people gave me a lot of ideas.”

It’s those ideas he will take into the general election when he faces democratic challenger, former U-S Attorney Randy Seiler. Ravnsborg says he is now focusing on the general election.

“One of the advantages of going through this heated process is you have to test your organizational skills,” Ravnsborg says. “Which I think will be a benefit to the fall campaign. You’re going to go out there and talk and organize and work on these individual counties now to turn out citizens, not just party delegates.”

The race will likely center around experience. Ravnsborg is a Lieutenant Colonel and battalion commander in the army reserves. He says he’s been a lawyer since 2001 and is a Deputy States Attorney for Union County. Questions loom as to whether Ravnsborg has tried a jury trial as a prosecutor. The Union county clerk of courts says he has not there, at least. He says he’s a registered attorney in other districts.

Seiler, also a veteran, was appointed as US Attorney in 2015. Before that, he became assistant US Attorney in 2009 and has served in the US Attorney's office for 22 years. For 14 years before that, Seiler served as a violent crime prosecutor.