South Dakota GOP picks experience for AG, bumps an incumbent

WATERTOWN, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Republicans looking to regroup after the impeachment and conviction of the GOP attorney general gave their support for the job Saturday to a man with extensive experience in leading state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Delegates at the Republican convention in Watertown also bounced an incumbent.

The group kicked off selections for key state offices by choosing Marty Jackley to run for attorney general over Division of Criminal Investigation Director David Natvig. Jackley served as the state’s attorney general for about a decade and the state’s U.S. attorney for three years.

Jackley was succeeded in his last stint as attorney general by Jason Ravnsborg, who removed from office last week after the Senate heard testimony of his conduct in a fatal car crash. Ravnsborg had announced shortly before his impeachment trial that he would not seek a second term.

The day featured one upset.

Delegates denied Secretary of State Steve Barnett the opportunity for a second term. Monae Johnson won easily in a campaign where she stressed her opposition to online voting, online voter registration and online registration updates.

Johnson said Saturday that “election integrity is all on our hearts on minds.”

Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden held off a late entry into the race, former House Speaker Steve Haugaard, to earn another run. Gov. Kristi Noem had defeated Haugaard in the Republican primary election for governor three weeks ago 76% to 24%.