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Attorney general and other nominations up for grabs at state Republican convention

Then lieutenant-governor candidate Larry Rhoden addressing 2018 GOP Convention-goers in Pierre.
Lee Strubinger
Then lieutenant-governor candidate Larry Rhoden addressing 2018 GOP Convention-goers in Pierre.

The South Dakota Republican Party Convention is underway in Watertown.

Party members will update their platform and nominate candidates for statewide offices.

This convention comes on the heels of the state Senate removing and disqualifying Republican Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg from office.

Party conventions occur every four years. Delegates will gavel in at 10 a.m. Central on Saturday to nominate candidates for lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and four other positions.

Former attorney general Marty Jackley is seeking a nomination to regain the position. He’s running against Division of Criminal Investigation Director David Natvig. Secretary of State Steve Barnett is challenged by Monae Johnson.

Jason Glodt is with the Jackley campaign. He has attended party conventions since 1994. He says the campaigning style is different from running during a primary election.

“It’s a much more one-on-one campaign style than, say, a statewide primary election where you rely more on mass communications to connect," Glodt says. "Because there’s so many more voters in races like that, especially a statewide primary. You’re targeting your messaging to tens of thousands of voters, albeit targeted. But, nowhere near the smaller, more manageable numbers that you have in a convention race.”

Glodt says the number of delegates at a convention is at most around 2,000. That number depends on who registers for the convention.

Republicans currently hold all statewide offices in South Dakota, a super-majority in the Legislature and all three of the state's congressional seats.

The state Democratic Party Convention is July 8-9 in Fort Pierre.

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.