20 Past SD Bar Presidents Endorse Seiler for Attorney General (2022)

By Cory Allen Heidelberger on 2018-10-19

The only big endorsement full-time campaigner and part-time volunteer “prosecutor” Jason Ravnsborg seems to have for Attorney General is that of a majority of South Dakota sheriffs, which Ravnsborg scrawls on his rare yard signs.

Meanwhile, his opponent, senior prosecutor and statesman Randy Seiler, keeps getting endorsements from people who’ve actually done some lawyering. Yesterday the Seiler campaign released an endorsement from twenty past presidents of the South Dakota Bar Association:

“Randy’s career is the embodiment of the term public citizen,” the endorsement says. “As Attorney General, Randy will be a strong advocate for equal treatment before the law and continue his sterling record of being tough on crime. He will work to protect our children from predators. He will collaborate across the public and private sectors to promote the expansion of addiction treatment access and options. He will remove politics from legal decisions and hold state officials to the highest of ethical standards…We strongly encourage you to support him in his bid to be our next Attorney General” [Randy Seiler for Attorney General, press release, 2018.10.18]

The endorsement lists these past bar presidents:

  • Carleton R. Hoy, Sioux Falls, 1979-1980
  • Robert B. Frieberg, Beresford, 1985-1986
  • Charles M. Thompson, Pierre, 1986-1987
  • Terence R. Quinn, Belle Fourche, 1991-1992
  • Gregory A. Eiesland, Rapid City 1993-1994
  • James S. Nelson, Rapid City, 1996-1997
  • Thomas G. Fritz, Rapid City, 1997-1998
  • Richard L. Ericsson, Madison, 1999-2000
  • Robert E. Hayes, Sioux Falls, 2002-2003
  • G. Verne Goodsell, Rapid City, 2003-2004
  • J. Crisman Palmer, Rapid City, 2006-2007
  • Richard L. Travis, Sioux Falls, 2007-2008
  • Richard D. Casey, Sioux Falls, 2010-2011
  • Patrick G. Goetzinger, Rapid City, 2011-2012
  • Thomas J. Nicholson, Sioux Falls, 2012-2013
  • Terry L. Hofer, Rapid City, 2013-2014
  • Thomas H. Frieberg, Beresford, 2014-2015
  • Eric C. Schulte, Sioux Falls, 2015-2016
  • Stephanie E. Pochop, Gregory, 2016-2017
  • Pamela Reiter, Sioux Falls, 2017-2018

Now even if you don’t like attorneys much (insert favorite lawyer joke in the comment section), you have to admit that when you absolutely have to have one, you want an attorney who knows how to do the job. Attorneys have probably the best, most consistent view of the quality of each other’s work. So when a lot of top attorneys join two former Republican Attorneys General to say that Randy Seiler would make a good Attorney General, that’s a fair confirmation of what any regular person can see when comparing résumés: Seiler’s several pages of prosecutorial experience show he’s ready to serve as South Dakota’s top prosecutor, while his far junior opponent’s slim rap sheet does not.

Published in South Dakota

  • law
  • politics
  • Randy Seiler


  1. Jason2018-10-19 07:30

    Who would have guessed that leftist lawyer Bar Presidents endorsed a Democrat?

    The sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

    We will all die someday.

  2. jerry2018-10-19 07:44

    Yeah, all lawyers are leftist.

    Rain comes from the clouds

    We all live for the day.

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  3. mike from iowa2018-10-19 07:53

    The Troll’s idea of impartial means rule in favor of right wing nut jobs. Heck that seems to be the overall consensus in wingnut amerika.

  4. jerry2018-10-19 08:48

    Lawyers are for law and order, something that left the party of trump some decades ago. If you want to be a lawyer, first thing is you must uphold the law…not break it. Yes, let’s look at the money by all means, all of it. Let’s have transparency in the money in politics, completely.

  5. Porter Lansing2018-10-19 10:18

    Who would have guessed that all sheriffs are hicks? “Give me a diablo sandwich, a Dr. Pepper, and make it quick. I’m in a G**-d**n hurry.” – Buford T. Justice

  6. Donald Pay2018-10-19 10:53

    Does Jason know anything about the attorneys on that list? The ones I know aren’t leftists Most have been associated with the Republican Party and establishment politics in South Dakota.

  7. jerry2018-10-19 11:36

    No, he is Russian, he only knows today is paytroll day.

  8. Porter Lansing2018-10-19 12:15

    Lest we forget … Jason was one of the “mensa quality” Republicans who believed the “Just Walk Away” scam was real.
    Last night Trevor Noah advised all black and minority Americans to register Republican. “You don’t have to vote for those racists but they’ll make sure you aren’t disenfranchised, if they think you’re a “valued voter”.”

  9. Porter Lansing2018-10-19 12:47

    That’s pretty good. Sgt. Jason G from the SDNationalGuard giving orders. #WeekendWonder

  10. Cory Allen HeidelbergerPost author | 2018-10-19 12:50

    So Jason, you always put party over the person? You would prefer an incompetent right-wing candidate to a competent left-wing candidate?

  11. Cory Allen HeidelbergerPost author | 2018-10-19 12:51

    I would love for someone to provide a quick voter registration list of endorsee listed above.

  12. Jason2018-10-19 13:00

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    My vote is based on the issues.

    Seiler does not agree with me on most of them so he will not get my vote.

  13. Donald Pay2018-10-19 13:13

    Well, Jason, I’ll give you a little hint here. There is a little thing called Google. It’s on most computers. You can do your own research. You know, Jason, I’m from out of state, and have been for 18 years now, but I seem to have forgotten more about South Dakota than you even know.

    For myself, I lived in South Dakota during 1950s-1975 and all of 1980s and 1990s. I knew or knew of most of those folks. Freiburg, I believe, was a Democrat. Fritz may have been a Democrat. All the rest, I’m sure were Repubicans, or they did a good imitation of a Republican. Some of the ones in the early 2000s I knew of when living in SD, were with “Republican firms,” that is they did a hell of a lot of work for Republicans and interests tied to the Republican Party.

    You can go to the Gunderson et al., law firm in Rapid City, for example, and find a number of well-known Republican flunkies there, even today. That firm, which has been under different names for the last half century, has one thing that’s consistent: lots of state bar presidents and lots of Republican business.

    Jason, you have a lot of problems with the facts. I’m sure you have no interest in really pursuing the truth, but do some research before spouting off. You look stupid when you don’t.

  14. Jason2018-10-19 13:28

    Donald, thanks for confirming you have no proof of how most of them are reigistered and how they vote.

    You made the assertion, you provide the proof.

  15. Porter Lansing2018-10-19 13:32

    Good one, Jason. You live in Lakeville, MN so it’s guaranteed Seiler won’t get your vote. Duh …

  16. Donald Pay2018-10-19 14:16

    Jason, YOU made the assertion, which was “leftist lawyer Bar Presidents.” Try to stay focused. Me

  17. Ryan2018-10-19 16:06

    Nobody had any good lawyer jokes or what? Sheesh. You would think with how many people hate lawyers, there would be lots of em.

    You know how many lawyer jokes there really are? Just two. The rest are true stories.

  18. jerry2018-10-19 16:34

    The Russian connected, Michael Cohen is now saying to vote Democratic, so there is that. Sara Frankenstein (chortle chortle) the joke of Halloween, from Gunderson, et al.

  19. jerry2018-10-19 16:45

    Marty Jackley… A joke on our pocketbooks.

  20. Jason2018-10-19 17:06

    Correct Donald. My assertion was on the Bar association and Lawyer associations in general and I backed up with the money graph.

    You made the assertion you knew the individuals and said they were Republican. That’s up to you to prove.

    Try to keep up.

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  21. Patricia Shiery2018-10-19 19:24

    I don’t have a lawyer joke, but I do have a court room joke….does that count??

    Three ducks were arrested and had to stand before the judge. The judge looks at the first duck and bellows, “What’s your name? What’s your offense?”

    The duck replies, ” My name is Quack, Your Honor, and my offense is blowing bubbles in the pond.”

    BLOWING BUBBLES IN THE POND! Yells the judge. “You know we frown on that kind of behavior. 3 days community service!

    The judge looks at the second duck and says, “What’s your name and what’s your offense?”

    The duck replied, ” My name is Quack, Quack and my offense is blowing bubbles in the pond.”

    BLOWING BUBBLES IN THE POND! Yells the Judge. “You know we frown on that kind of behavior. 3 days community service.”

    Then the judge looks at the 3rd duck and says, “Let me guess, your name is Quack, Quack, Quack.”

    Oh NO! Replies the duck, I’m Bubbles!


  22. Porter Lansing2018-10-19 19:43

    Good one, Patricia. :)

  23. Debbo2018-10-19 20:30

    There has seldom been a more lopsided race in terms of qualifications for any position. The other guy is the absolute epitome of pathetic, totally underwhelming incompetence. Boggles the mind.

    Professionals have an extremely high level of respect for Randy Seiler’s skills in the job and his high morals.

    The SDGOP wants Ravns so they can totally trash SD without fear just as the Pootiepublicans are trying to do to the USA. Greed has no finish line, there is never enough. It’s so critical that every South Dakotan of any decency at all protect his state and loved ones by voting for Seiler.

  24. Donald Pay2018-10-19 21:14

    Your list of law firms doesn’t include a single South Dakota firm. It’s irrelevant to the point you made.

  25. Donald Pay2018-10-19 22:17

    It seems to be Jason’s M.O. to make people chase to do his research for him. Uh, no. Generally I charge for that, Jason.

    I actually know about the folks on that list. Some lobbied in Pierre, when I was there. I lived in Rapid City, Pierre and Sioux Falls, and know where these firms are located and many of the people who have practiced law with those firms. So, against my lifelong knowledge you put up a link that has nothing to do with South Dakota attorneys.

    So, one can only ask who has the greater credibility on this subject.

    I realize on a nationwide basis law firms and attorneys tend to give more to Democrats. That is because Democrats stand up for the rule of law and against such things as “tort reform,” and other ways to prevent people from filing lawsuits against corporations. Sure, attorneys are going to support the people who stand for justice and against shutting the doors of the courtroom to the poor and middle class. But you mistake that tendency in some lawyers in large law firms with the South Dakota Bar, which tends to be fairly middle-of-the road to conservatives.

    Really, you need to spend some time trying to understand some of the nuances of issues and politics, rather than shooting yourself in the foot with your posts.

  26. leslie2018-10-20 02:31

    There is a limited pool of deeper pocket clients (those that can afford high quality lawyers –who generally charge more). The state, county and city governments are such clients and they usually pay their bills (unlike clients like Trump ect). In such a small state, most of these government entities have Republican leadership that tend to hire Republican lawyers. Thus we see EB5 lawyers in bed with SD GOP, Regents, AG, GOED; and staff lawyers who are hired Republican, or to avoid questions of job security, as one example. Hundreds of private lawyers are hired for the myriad of state government complexities every year, in addition to salaried government lawyers on staff.

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    A guess would be Ravens bulk of legal experience is a result of Republican party cronyism, or “loyalty” as they spin it.

  27. Jason2018-10-20 07:10


    Are you saying the “Republican” law firms don’t hire Democrats?

    You asserted these 20 individuals are Republican and have not backed it up with evidence.

    I’m not holding my breath that you ever will.

  28. Donald Pay2018-10-20 09:11

    No, there are lawyers who are Democrats in firms that do the bulk of their work for Republicans or establishment clients. I’d estimate, though, that three quarters or more of those State Bar leaders listed are Republican.

    No, Jason, I’m not doing your research for you. You are the one who made the off-the-wall claims. That these folks are leftists. If you define “leftist” as Republican, I’ll agree with you.

  29. Cory Allen HeidelbergerPost author | 2018-10-20 21:07

    Best guesses from ZIP codes and the voter registration database:

    REP: Hoy, R. Frieberg, Nelson*, Ericsson, Goodsell, Palmer, Hofer, T. Frieberg

    IND: Eiesland

    DEM: Fritz, Casey, Goetzinger, Nicholson, Schulte, Pochop, Reiter

    NPA: Hayes

    no voter record in town listed above: Thompson.

    *Found four James Nelsons in two ZIPs in RC, all four REP.

  30. Donald Pay2018-10-22 08:28

    Thanks, Cory. I was off on my estimate of party split, but none of these are “leftists,” as Jason claimed. Now if Pat Duffy or Bruce Ellison were on that list, I might be persuaded that the SD Bar, if not left, was at least left of center. My experience on the legislation they seemed to champion in Pierre is that they are middle-of-the-road. And it’s not that I particularly liked some of the Bar’s positions. The State Bar screwed citizens groups like TIP and Dakota Rural Action by pushing the requirement that they had to be represented by an attorney at administrative contest case hearings. TIP got around that by simply petitioning for contested cases in our own names, rather than the group name.

  31. Cory Allen HeidelbergerPost author | 2018-10-23 05:28

    I suspect true leftists are rare birds in the South Dakota Bar Association. As in other fields, many of the true leftwingers in the legal field leave the state for friendlier political climates and opportunities to put their legal skills in the service of liberal organizations. The few leftists who remain in South Dakota would have to make numerous compromises to keep themselves in business among the GOP-dominated lawyers’ club. They would likely focus their energies on serving their clients in their uphill battles against Republican oppression rather than on the internal politicking necessary to become a poobah in the bar.

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    The state bar is less likely to be a left-wing bastion than the state Legislature or the state teachers union. SDEA should have all sorts of leftists, but it doesn’t: instead, it reflects the culture in which it lives with regular Vichy-style accommodation of one-party rule.

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by Dr. Raphael Ankunding Jr. Published 7 months ago Updated 3 months ago 8 min read

The voters of the U.S. State of South Dakota elect an attorney general for a four-year term.. In June 2018, the South Dakota Republican party nominated Jason Ravnsborg for Attorney General and the Democratic party nominated Randy Seiler.. Matt Templar -Matt Templar - Assistant Attorney General - South Dakota Attorney General's Office | LinkedIn.. In 2010, after serving in the South Dakota legislature for several years, Noem was elected to serve as South Dakota's lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives.. University of South Dakota ( JD) Randolph John Seiler (born July 1, 1946) is an American attorney and Vietnam veteran who served as the 41st United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota from 2015 until his retirement in 2017.. Seiler was previously the Deputy United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota.. Randy ran for South Dakota Attorney General and was the Democratic Party nominee.. Seiler said there's "no better training ground" to become state attorney general than his experience in the U.S. attorney's office.. Seiler was raised in Herreid, South Dakota, a small town near the North Dakota border.. Randy ran for South Dakota Attorney General and was the Democratic Party nominee.. Seiler said there's "no better training ground" to become state attorney general than his experience in the U.S. attorney's office.. Before his U.S. Attorney nomination, Seiler became the First Assistant United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota in 2009.. On March 23, 2019, Seiler was elected Vice Chair of the South Dakota Democratic Party after former State House Rep. Paula Hawks was elected party chair.

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Attorney General William Barr urged federal prosecutors to consider filing sedition charges against violent protesters.

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