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South Dakota AG Jason Ravnsborg will not run for re-election as impeachment trial looms

The decision was publicly announced just 11 days before the South Dakota Senate will meet as a Court of Impeachment to decide Ravnsborg's fate as attorney general for the remainder of his term.

Republican Jason Ravnsborg speaks after winning the South Dakota Attorney General race during the Republican Election Party at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown in Sioux Falls in this 2018 file photo.
Republican Jason Ravnsborg speaks after winning the South Dakota Attorney General race during the Republican Election Party at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown in Sioux Falls in this 2018 file photo.
Matt Gade / Mitchell Republic
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PIERRE — Jason Ravnsborg has announced he no longer plans to run for re-election to the Office of the Attorney General, just 11 days before a historic trial that could remove him from office before his term ends.

In a Friday email to Dakota News Now's Austin Goss, which Goss shared on Twitter, Ravnsborg affirmed the outlet's previous report that he would not be running for re-election.

The embattled attorney general's re-election campaign has been the focus of political speculation across South Dakota after he was impeached in April for crimes and malfeasance in office relating a September 2020 crash, where Ravnsborg struck and killed Joe Boever, a pedestrian walking alongside a highway at night.

Following the impeachment, which passed the state's House without a vote to spare, the South Dakota Senate has resolved themselves as a court of impeachment, and are set to conduct trial regarding the House's vote to run June 21-22 at the Capitol in Pierre.

Ravnsborg is not expected to testify in his own impeachment trial, though investigators from North and South Dakota as well as a private crash reconstructionist are.

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Pursuant to the state's constitution, Ravnsborg is currently suspended from serving as the attorney general until the Senate acquits him of the charges put forth by the House. Should he be convicted, Gov. Kristi Noem would appoint his replacement to serve in an interim capacity until a newly elected attorney general would be sworn in in January.

Thus far, former Attorney General Marty Jackley and current director of the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation David Natvig have entered the race, both as Republicans. The two seek the party's nod at the state's GOP convention, to be held June 23-25, the day following Ravnsborg's Senate trial, in Watertown.

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Dunteman covers general and breaking news as well as crime in the Mitchell Republic's 17-county coverage area. He grew up in Harrisburg, and has lived in South Dakota for over 20 years. He joined the Mitchell Republic in June 2021 after earning his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He can be reached at HDunteman@MitchellRepublic.com, or on Twitter @HRDunt.
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