Dana Ferguson, Sioux Falls Argus Leader
South Dakota Democrats on Friday nominated Randy Seiler to run for attorney general on their ticket.
The former U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota beat out Tatewin Means, a former attorney general for the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
Seiler will face whomever Republicans nominate at their convention next week in the November General Election.
The Democrat told attendees at the Sioux Falls convention that he brings to the ticket experience working in tribal, state and federal courts.
“I am confident that I am the most qualified candidate in this race. I am confident that I can win this race,” Seiler said. “I’ve never walked away from the difficult case.”
Brendan Johnson, a former U.S. Attorney, spoke on Seiler’s behalf and said he would be well-suited for the position.
“The rule of law as we’ve seen the last 18 months is under attack,” Johnson said. “We’re going to get back to the time of the rule of law, back to holding public officials accountable.”
Seiler quickly turned his gaze to November and beyond on Friday, beginning to share his vision of what the Attorney General’s Office would look like under his leadership.
Seiler told reporters about the policies he’d advance and cases he’d review if elected.
Among them, Seiler said he’d re-evaluate the state’s involvement in lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and the Clean Water Act.
“The standard … to become involved in national, federal litigation should not be politics, it should be what’s in the best interest of the people of the state,” he said.
Seiler said he’d push reforms to the state’s drug laws that emphasize treatment and rehabilitation before incarceration. And he indicated he favors “red flag laws” that allow family members to work with law enforcement officers to temporarily remove someone’s firearms if he or she poses a danger to himself or others.
And after speaking out against lawmakers’ consideration of a so-called transgender bathroom bill during his remarks to delegates, Seiler told reporters he’d have to review potentially unconstitutional laws on a case-by-case basis before defending them.
“If the law is arbitrary, capricious and blatantly unconstitutional, if it does not meet the constitutional standards set by the Supreme Court, we’d take a very serious look at it and decide,” Seiler said.
The state party also nominated candidates for various other constitutional offices Friday. Here is a list of the nominees:
- Lieutenant governor: Michelle Lavallee
- Attorney General: Randy Seiler
- Commissioner of School and Public Lands: Woody Houser
- Public Utilities Commissioner: Wayne Frederick
- State Auditor: Tom Cool
- State Treasurer: Aaron Matson
- Secretary of State: None selected