FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 3, 2018
FORT PIERRE, SD – Experience matters and once again, Jason Ravnsborg proved he doesn’t have it.
During interviews yesterday by KELOLAND’s Brady Mallory, the two South Dakota Attorney General candidates drew stark contrasts between their respective resumes. Randy Seiler, former U.S. Attorney for South Dakota, highlighted his deep background in criminal prosecution. KELOLAND reported that results from a search of federal court records linked Seiler to more than 600 felony cases. Jason Ravnsborg had little to say when pressed on his limited record as a criminal prosecutor.
In light of allegations that Ravnsborg has exaggerated his background and has not prosecuted a criminal case before a jury, KELOLAND’s Brady Mallory gave the candidate a chance to clear the air. Appearing uncomfortable with the topic, Ravnsborg once again claimed he has tried criminal cases. When asked by Mallory to name a criminal case he has tried, Ravnsborg replied, “I’m sure I can, but not off the top of my head.”
Mallory also asked Seiler to name some of his criminal cases. “We tried a number of cases, one of the other names that comes to mind is Alvin Mound, currently serving a life sentence. I prosecuted a case out of Pierre where a young police officer who recently retired, Dave Panzer, was taken hostage by a young man who wanted to kill a cop,” Seiler said. For more information on that case, click here.
Concerns that Ravnsborg has not tried a criminal case before a jury and that he does not have the experience to effectively serve as the state’s top lawyer and law enforcement official are not new. Flyers questioning Ravnsborg’s fitness for office were circulated at the South Dakota GOP Convention last June, and his lack of experience as a prosecutor has been widely reported in the media. In an interview with KSFY last week, Ravnsborg said the concerns are something he has “laughed at,” then he questioned why experience with criminal prosecution mattered for an individual seeking to become the state’s top prosecutor.
In the past week, the Office of the Attorney General has finalized a settlement in a major United States Supreme Court case, overseen the execution of a man who killed a correctional officer while serving a life sentence for attempted murder and kidnapping, and prosecuted another for the beating and strangulation death of a woman with seven young children. In cases like these, and so many more, South Dakota’s Attorney General must lead the office and utilize prosecution experience to ensure South Dakota remains safe.