Randy Seiler for Attorney General
I was raised in Herreid, South Dakota, a small town near the North Dakota border. Growing up, I was always interested in the legal world (even if I did bend the occasional law as many a stupid teenager does), but it was a legal dispute between two small towns that led me to realize my calling.
When I was in high school, a dispute arose between Herreid and the nearby town of Mound City. Both towns wanted the ASCS (Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service) office, and, as often happens, the issue went to court. The Herreid Theatre was transformed into a federal courtroom and I unwittingly took my first step to becoming a lawyer.
I was absolutely riveted. The wise observations of the judge, the protocol and intellectual maneuvering of the lawyers, the folks from both sides that were counting on the law to help them…I was fascinated by it all. I started skipping class so that I wouldn’t miss a thing. Rather than being upset that his son was ditching school, my father instead encouraged my fascination. He impressed upon me the role of lawyers in representing our community, how one or two people armed with education, drive, and dedication could make such a huge difference in the life of an entire community.
After that, I was hooked.
It still amazes me to this day that the young man who cut class to watch a dispute about an office building ended up serving as the U.S. Attorney under two presidents. My story is a testament to the power of competency and experience. Those qualities are exactly what I plan to bring to the office of the South Dakota Attorney General.
Randy Seiler believes in the power of justice. That’s why he’s devoted most of his life to prosecuting criminals, protecting victims, and working to keep South Dakota safe.
Before pursuing his dream of becoming a lawyer, Randy spent four years in the United States Air Force, serving a tour of duty in Vietnam and earning the Air Force Commendation Medal for meritorious service. He returned to the United States and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska in Omaha. He was appointed by Governor Richard F. Kneip to serve as the director of the South Dakota Division of Law Enforcement Assistance. During the last two of his four years in that position, he pursued a Master’s of Arts degree with an emphasis in Public Administration before devoting himself full-time to the University of South Dakota School of Law. As a law student, he was Editor-in-Chief of the South Dakota Law Review before graduating as a Sterling Honor Graduate and a recipient of the Gavel Award, awarded to the outstanding student in the graduating class. He then served as a law clerk in the United States District Court in Sioux Falls before going into private practice in Mobridge. Practicing law in a rural South Dakota community adjacent to two Indian reservations included work in state and federal court as well as the tribal courts of the Cheyenne River Sioux and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribes. During that time, he also served as the Campbell County Deputy States Attorney and Special Judge for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.
After 13 years in private practice, Randy began his distinguished tenure as Assistant United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota, representing the United States in the prosecution of federal felony criminal law violations including murder, rape, child sexual abuse, robbery, domestic violence, aggravated assault, civil rights, public corruption, white collar crime, and other major offenses. Randy was the lead counsel on more than 70 federal felony jury trials and more than 500 criminal cases. His work was considered exemplary, earning him the Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention in 2001, and the first-ever presentation of the Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance in Indian County in 2009.
Randy became the First Assistant United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota in 2009. He was responsible for the day-to-day management and operations of the United States Attorney’s Office. He was the supervisor of the United States Attorney’s branch office in Pierre and directly involved in all prosecutorial matters and decision-making. He also served as Tribal Liaison during this time, consulting and coordinating with tribal communities, victim advocates, and tribal justice officials and leaders to address any issues in the prosecution of major crimes in Indian Country. Randy put special effort into fostering a government-to-government relationship with the nine sovereign tribal governments and their citizens, believing that it was especially important to ensure justice was served fairly whether on or off tribal lands.
On March 12, 2015, Randy was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota. In addition to serving as the Chief Federal Law Enforcement Officer in the state, he continued his dedication to civil rights by serving on the Justice Department’s Native American Issues Subcommittee and Civil Rights Committee.
Despite being one of the United States Attorneys not asked to resign by President Donald Trump, Randy announced his retirement in 2017. But his passion for law enforcement made his retirement brief and led him to, in his own words, be a “good neighbor” and serve as Interim State’s Attorney for Hughes County. Once that position was permanently filled by former Hughes County Deputy State’s Attorney, Randy is currently fulfilling his duties to the office as the Deputy State’s Attorney before devoting himself full-time to pursuing the position of South Dakota Attorney General.
“I have learned in this life to follow my instincts as both a lawyer and a proud resident of South Dakota,” Seiler said. “I believe I can best serve South Dakota as Attorney General, and I’m looking forward to serving this state and ensuring the safety of every resident and visitor to our great state.”
As Attorney General, Randy will work to keep you safe. With your help and support, Randy will use his dedication and vast legal experience to make South Dakota a safe place for law-abiding citizens.