Former South Dakota AG Jackley says he'll seek old job

In this June, 5, 2018, file photo, then South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, Republican candidate for governor, greets supporters in Rapid City. Former Attorney General Jackley says he will run for the state's top law enforcement officer in 2022. Jackley's announcement Monday came as current Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg faces calls for his resignation and impeachment for his involvement in a fatal car crash. (Ryan Hermens/Rapid City Journal via AP, File)

PIERRE (AP) – Former South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced Monday he will run again for his old job in 2022, as the current attorney general faces calls for his resignation and impeachment over a fatal car crash.

The announcement by Jackley, a Republican, positions him to replace Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg – also a Republican – who is dealing with a political crisis from striking and killing a man with his car last year. Jackley served as the state's attorney general from 2009 to 2019, winning reelection twice. He ran for governor in 2018, losing in the GOP primary to Kristi Noem, who went on to win the general election.

Jackley said over the last few months people from across the state have urged him to seek the post of the state's top law enforcement official again.

“I love and believe in what the attorney general stands for and that’s protecting South Dakotans and defending our constitutional rights,” he said, adding that he would use “the trust that I've earned” from years of holding the position.

Jackley said that he had spoken with Ravnsborg and told him he intended to seek the office next year, but added he would “leave the rest of what's going to happen to the attorney general’s decision and the legislative process.”

If Ravnsborg resigns or if the Legislature removes him from office, Noem would get to name his replacement. Noem has called for his resignation, along with law enforcement groups. A House committee is expected Wednesday to discuss how to move forward with Ravnsborg's impeachment.

Ravnsborg is also facing three misdemeanor traffic charges, as well as questions from lawmakers about his conduct following the crash. He was returning from a Republican fundraiser late on Sept. 12 when he struck and killed 55-year-old Joseph Boever, who was walking on the shoulder of a rural highway. He said he thought he had hit a deer until he returned to the accident scene the next day and found the body.

Jackley announced his candidacy with the endorsement of Mark Barnett, a three-term attorney general and recently retired circuit judge, as well as Butte County Sheriff Fred Lamphere and Clay County State’s Attorney Alexis Tracy.

Jackley argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the state in 2018, defending the state’s ability to charge sales tax for online purchases. He has been working as an attorney in Pierre with the Gunderson Palmer law firm.


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