Jason Ravnsborg will not seek re-election for SD Attorney General

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.(Argus Leader)- South Dakota’s embattled attorney general has officially declared that he will not seek re-election.

Jason Ravnsborg, 46, who later this month will be the subject of an impeachment trial in the South Dakota Senate for his conduct related to a fatal crash in 2020, told the Argus Leader Friday that he will not seek the GOP nomination for the attorney general’s office during the Republican Party state convention June 23-25.

“I would confirm I will not be running for attorney general,” Ravnsborg wrote in an email Friday afternoon.

The development confirms what’s been speculated for months, as the Cherokee, Iowa, native’s standing in the party has faltered in the fallout of a Sept. 12, 2020 crash that killed pedestrian Joe Boever, who was walking along a rural highway when he was struck and killed by the first-term attorney general.

The crash resulted in Ravnsborg being convicted of a pair of misdemeanor traffic violations that did not rise to the level of criminal culpability for Boever’s death. However, the state House in March narrowly voted to impeach the attorney general for misdemeanors and malfeasance in office.

The articles of impeachment, adopted on a 36-31 line, allege that Ravnsborg lied to law enforcement officers who investigated the crash and Ravnsborg’s conduct before and after the crash.

Despite the controversy, as recently as January, prior to his impeachment, Ravnsborg continued to work party delegates behind the scenes in anticipation of the state convention, where the GOP nominee for attorney general is decided.

But the May announcement of David Natvig’s candidacy for attorney general,  the Division of Criminal Investigation director hired by Ravnsborg in 2019, indicated Ravnsborg would likely not seek re-election. Until now, though, Ravnsborg had not gone public with his plans for his political future.

Republican Marty Jackley, who served as South Dakota attorney general from 2009 to 2019, is also seeking the GOP nomination for the office.

The state Senate will hold an impeachment trial for Ravnsborg on June 21 and 22 that will decide whether the attorney general will be forced out of office before the end of his term. Senators will also decide whether Ravnsborg should be barred from holding public office in South Dakota ever again.