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Attorney General appointee seeks GOP nomination to run for AG job

Lee Strubinger
Department of Criminal Investigation head David Natvig takes an oath before the House Select Committee on Investigation.

The current director of the Division of Criminal Investigation, David Natvig, says he’s running for the Republican nomination for attorney general.

Natvig has held the DCI leadership position since 2019 when Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg took office.

Natvig, a Kimball native, graduated from the University of South Dakota Law school with Ravnsborg.

Ravnsborg, who is Natvig’s boss, has not indicated whether he is running for reelection. Ravnsborg has been impeached by the South Dakota House and faces potential removal from office by the Senate.

DCI Director Natvig was called to testify before the House Impeachment inquiry into Ravnsborg’s involvement in a fatal crash in September 2020.

Natvig was questioned earlier this year about a meeting Attorney General Ravnsborg had with a cell phone forensics expert. The meeting took place in Natvig’s office and was mentioned as part of an impeachment article declaring Ravnsborg committed malfeasance in office.

Division of Criminal Investigation Director David Natvig

Natvig did not return requests for comment about his announcement. He made a campaign announcement on Facebook.

“I’m not a politician. I’m not the kind of guy big on talk,” Natvig says. “I’m a leader. I’m the kind of guy that sees a problem, comes up with a plan and then executes.”

Natvig's announcement comes about a month before the state Republican Party convention, scheduled for the end of June in Watertown.

Natvig will face former Attorney General Marty Jackley for the Republican attorney general nomination. Jackley served as attorney general until he was term-limited. He's been campaigning for more than a year, and says he’s focused on sharing his vision.

“You know, I’ve really just let Ravnsborg’s whole team kind of do their thing. I’ve tried to stay positive talking to supporters about my experience and also the vision where to lead the office in the future,” Jackley says. “Part of that leadership has to involve a united law enforcement.”

The South Dakota Police Chiefs and Sheriff’s associations, as well as Fraternal Order of Police, have called on Ravnsborg to resign. They say his actions following the fatal crash have resulted in a lack of confidence in the office.

The candidate chosen by Republican party delegates will run in the general election in November.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.
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