Marty Jackley will return to Pierre; Democrats fail to field nominee for Attorney General – Dakota Free Press
The South Dakota Democratic Party has been unable to find a lawyer willing to jump at the chance to campaign for the attorney general seat opened up by impeachment. Marty Jackley will thus return to the post he held for nine years under Governors Rounds and Daugaard without having to face the judgment of the general electorate.
Democrats gathered in Fort Pierre yesterday to nominate candidates for the statewide offices. They fielded candidates for all other appointable statewide positions – Tom Cool for Secretary of State, Jeff Barth for Public Utilities Commission, John Cunningham for Treasurer, Stephanie Marty for Auditor and Tim Azure for Commissioner of Schools and Public Lands – but no one represented Attorney General.
I can understand the practical math that would deter good lawyers from taking on an experienced attorney general sitting on a $300,000 campaign fund (as of May 18; Marty had to spend some of it on postcards and chicken dinners trying to prevent Republican delegates to the convention from nominating another Nimrod). But running a Democratic nominee against Marty Jackley would be a great opportunity to hold the Republican Party accountable for one of its biggest political failures this century. Jason Ravnsborg, his incompetence and corruption in office, his assassination of Joseph Boever, his impeachment and conviction all constitute an open wound for the Republican Party. Forcing Marty Jackley to campaign would keep that wound open and weaken the Republican Party. A smart Democratic challenger would find ways to aggravate dissidents in Jackley’s own party who opportunistically share the concern of many in the middle and on the left that Queen-endorsed nominee Kristi Noem is bound to continue to cover up her corruption. A savvy Democratic activist might cast Marty Jackley not as the cure, but as another symptom of a chronic Republican party cronyism that places partisanship and power above public service. Sure, Marty isn’t as stupid as Jason, but he’s just as much a product of the political machine. Now is the perfect time, a Democratic candidate might say, to escape this corruption and restore public trust by electing someone new to the position of Attorney General, someone who is not an insider, someone one who is beholden only to truth, justice, and the people of South Dakota. .
But by failing to challenge Marty Jackley, Democrats are giving Republicans what Republicans want: leaving Jason Ravnsborg’s severe injury, crimes, scab and impeachment scar to a slight rough mark that few will notice on November 8. .