Attorney General of South Dakota

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Attorney General of South Dakota
SouthDakota-StateSeal.svg
JasonHeadshot.jpg
Incumbent
Jason Ravnsborg

since January 5, 2019
StyleThe Honorable
Term lengthFour years, renewable once [1]
FormationConstitution of South Dakota, 1889
First holderRobert Dollard
Salary$116,277 [2]
Websitehttps://atg.sd.gov/

The Attorney General of South Dakota is the state attorney general of the U.S. state of South Dakota. The attorney general is elected by popular vote to a four-year term and holds an executive position as the state's chief legal officer. In 1992, the voters approved a Constitutional Amendment to limit all constitutional officers and the governor to two consecutive four year terms.[3] [4]


Structure of the office[edit]

The South Dakota Attorney General's Office represents and provides legal advice to agencies, boards, and commissions of the government of South Dakota; the office represents the state in state and federal court, as well as in administrative adjudication and rulemaking hearings. The office handles felony criminal appeals, advises local prosecutors in the conduct of criminal trials and handles cases at the request of local prosecutors. In addition, the office issues formal opinions interpreting statutes for the agencies and political subdivisions of the state.[5]


History[edit]

Within South Dakota, the office of attorney general is often considered a stepping stone to the office of governor.[6] Six attorneys general Coe I. Crawford (won 1904 & 1906), Merrell Q. Sharpe (won 1942 & 1944; lost 1946), George Theodore Mickelson (won 1946 & 1948), Sigurd Anderson (won 1950 & 1952; lost 1964), Frank Farrar (won 1968; lost 1970) and Bill Janklow (won 1978, 1982, 1994 & 1998) have each been elected governor. While six others, Robert Dollard (lost 1892), Mark Barnett (lost 2002), Buell Jones (lost 1928), Leo Temmey (lost 1942), Phil Saunders (lost 1958), and Marty Jackley (lost 2018), have run for governor unsuccessfully. Attorneys General and former Attorney Generals have a record of 13 wins and 9 losses in running for Governor. A graduate of the University of South Dakota School of Law has held the office of Attorney General uninterrupted since 1959. South Dakota has the second longest streak of Republican Attorneys General in the country, having held the office since 1975 (Nebraska has had Republican Attorneys General since 1951). [7]

List of attorneys general[edit]

Parties

  Democratic (4)   Republican (26)   Populist (1)

No. Picture Name (Birth-Death) Term of Office Political Party Law school
1 Robert Dollard (South Dakota Attorney General).jpg Robert Dollard
(1842-1912)
1889–1893 Republican Read law
2 Crawfordcoe.jpg Coe I. Crawford
(1858-1944)
1893–1897 Republican University of Iowa College of Law
3 Melvin Grigsby (South Dakota Attorney General).jpg Melvin Grigsby
(1845-1917)
1897–1899 Populist Read law with William Pitt Dewey
4 John L. Pyle (South Dakota Attorney General).jpg John L. Pyle
(1860-1902)
1899–1902 Republican Read law under Manford E. Williams
5 AW Burtt, 5th Attorney General of South Dakota.jpg Adolphus W. Burtt
(1832-1917)
1902–1903 Republican Read Law under Michael E. Crofoot
6 1903–1907 Philo Hall
(1865-1938)
1903-1907 Republican Read law under J.O. Andrews
7 SW Clark, 7th Attorney General of South Dakota.jpg S. Wesley Clark
(1872-1949)
1907–1911 Republican Read law under Thomas Sterling
8 RoyalCJohnson.jpg Royal Johnson
(1882-1939)
1911–1915 Republican University of South Dakota School of Law
9 Clarence Caldwell, 9th Attorney General of South Dakota.jpg Clarence C. Caldwell
(1877-1957)
1915–1919 Republican University of Chicago Law School (attended)
University of South Dakota School of Law (graduated)
10 Byron S Payne, 10th Attorney General of South Dakota.jpg Byron S. Payne
(1876-1949)
1919–1923 Republican University of Minnesota Law School
11 Buell F Jones, 11th Attorney General of South Dakota.jpg Buell F. Jones
(1892-1947)
1923–1929 Republican University of South Dakota School of Law
12 Merrell Q. Sharpe.jpg Merrell Q. Sharpe
(1888-1962)
1929–1933 Republican University of South Dakota School of Law
13 D. Walter Conway
(1898-1956)
1933–1937 Democratic University of South Dakota School of Law
14 Clair Roddewig, 14th Attorney General of South Dakota.jpg Clair Roddewig
(1902-1975)
1937–1939 Democratic Creighton University School of Law
15 Leo A. Temmey, 15th Attorney General of South Dakota.jpg Leo A. Temmey
(1894-1975)
1939–1943 Republican University of Minnesota Law School
16 George T. Mickelson.jpg George T. Mickelson
(1903-1965)
1943–1947 Republican University of South Dakota School of Law
17 Sigurd Anderson.jpg Sigurd Anderson
(1904-1990)
1947–1951 Republican University of South Dakota School of Law
18 Ralph A. Dunham, 18th Attorney General of South Dakota.jpg Ralph A. Dunham
(1906-1959)
1951–1955 Republican University of Iowa College of Law
19 Phil Saunders, 19th Attorney General of South Dakota.jpg Phil Saunders
(1920-1997)
1955–1959 Republican Northwestern University School of Law
20 Parnell Donahue, 20th Attorney General of South Dakota.jpg Parnell J. Donahue
(1916-1990)
1959–1961 Democratic University of South Dakota School of Law
21 AC Miller, 21st Attorney General of South Dakota.jpg Albert C. Miller
(1898-1979)
1961–1963 Republican University of South Dakota School of Law
22 Portrait of Frank Leroy Farrar.jpg Frank Farrar
(b. 1929)
1963–1969 Republican University of South Dakota School of Law
23 Gordon Mydland.png Gordon Mydland
(b. 1922)
1969–1973 Republican University of South Dakota School of Law
24 Kermit A. Sande, 24th Attorney General of South Dakota.jpg Kermit A. Sande
(1943-2018)
1973–1975 Democratic University of South Dakota School of Law
25 William Janklow (South Dakota Governor).jpg Bill Janklow
(1939-2012)
1975–1979 Republican University of South Dakota School of Law
26 Mark V. Meierhenry
(b. 1944)
1979–1987 Republican University of South Dakota School of Law
27 Roger Tellinghuisen
(b. 1953)
1987–1991 Republican University of South Dakota School of Law
28 Mark Barnett
(b.1954)
1991–2003 Republican University of South Dakota School of Law
29 Larry Long.jpg Larry Long
(b. 1947)
2003–2009 Republican University of South Dakota School of Law
30 US District Attorney Marty Jackley.png Marty Jackley
(b. 1970)
2009–2019 Republican University of South Dakota School of Law
31 JasonHeadshot.jpg Jason Ravnsborg
(b. 1976)
2019–present Republican University of South Dakota School of Law

Living former Attorneys General of South Dakota[edit]

As of July 2019, there were eight former Attorneys General of South Dakota still alive, the oldest Attorneys General of South Dakota being Gordon Mydland (served 1969–1973, born 1922). The most recent Attorney General of South Dakota to die was Kermit Sande (served 1973–1975, born 1943), on December 28, 2018; the most recently serving South Dakota Attorney General to die was Bill Janklow (served 1975–1979, born 1939) on January 12, 2012.

Attorney General Attorney General term Date of birth (and age)
Frank Farrar 1963-1969 (1929-04-02) April 2, 1929 (age 90)
Gordon Mydland 1969-1973 (1922-05-12) May 12, 1922 (age 97)
Mark V. Meierhenry 1979-1987 (1944-10-29) October 29, 1944 (age 74)
Roger Tellinghuisen 1987-1991 (1953-03-27) March 27, 1953 (age 66)
Mark Barnett 1991-2003 (1954-09-04) September 4, 1954 (age 65)
Larry Long 2003-2009 (1947-09-30) September 30, 1947 (age 71)
Marty Jackley 2009-2019 (1970-10-13) October 13, 1970 (age 48)

Elections[edit]

The voters of the U.S. State of South Dakota elect an attorney general for a four-year term. The winning candidate is shown in bold.

Year Democratic Republican Other Parties Election Day
2018 Randy Seiler 145,558 Jason Ravnsborg 179,071 Nov. 6,2018
2014 Marty Jackley 208,848 Chad Huber (Libertarian) 45,856 Nov. 4,2014
2010 Ron Volesky 100,182 Marty Jackley 202,499 Nov. 2,2010
2006 Ron Volesky: 104,267 Larry Long 207,079 Randy Ristesund (Libertarian) 8,904 Nov. 7,2006
2002 Ron Volesky: 139,451 Larry Long 174,513 Bob Newland (Libertarian) 12,131 Nov. 2,2002
1998 Mark Barnett (lawyer) 223,000 Nov. 3,1998
1994 Randy Turner 106,709 Mark Barnett (lawyer) 192,147 Bert Olson (Libertarian) 9,410 Nov. 8,1994
1990 Michael Butler 102,231 Mark Barnett(lawyer) 150,109 Nov. 6,1990
1986 Jeff Masten 133,577 Roger Tellinghuisen 153,871 Nov. 4,1986
1982 Rod Lefholz 119,697 Mark V. Meierhenry 153,728 Nov.2,1982
1978 Max Gors 106,199 Mark V. Meierhenry 141,891 Nov.7,1978
1974 Kermit A. Sande 86,865 William Janklow 173,658 Nov. 5,1974
1972 Kermit A. Sande 152,835 Ron Schmidt 143,367 Nov. 7,1972
1970 Ramon Roubideaux 114,633 Gordon Mydland 116,493 Nov.3,1970
1968 James Abourezk 118,045 Gordon Mydland 148,366 Nov.5,1968
1966 Robert W. Swanson 79,670 Frank Farrar 141,734 Nov.8,1966
1964 William C. Grady 125,047 Frank Farrar 157,848 Nov.3,1964
1962 Thomas E. Poe 107,897 Frank Farrar 137,836
1960 Parnell J. Donahue 138,320 Albert C. Miller 160,299 Nov.8,1960
1958 Parnell J. Donahue 126,225 George Wuest 122,332 Nov.4,1958
1956 William H. Heuermann 127,988 Phil Saunders 156,149 Nov.6,1956
1954 Fred J. Nichol 102,726 Phil Saunders 127,692 Nov.2,1954
1952 C.W. (Bill) Hyde 94,396 Ralph A. Dunham 187,888 Nov.4,1952
1950 George A. Bangs 97,792 Ralph A. Dunham 144,694 Nov.7,1950
1948 D.C. Walsh 99,724 Sigurd Anderson 137,370 Nov.2,1948
1946 Albert F. Ulmer 50,480 Sigurd Anderson 106,502 Nov.5,1946
1944 Fred E. Wheeler 83,441 George T. Mickelson 137,311 Nov.7,1944
1942 Lynn Fellows 62,527 George T. Mickelson 108,155 Nov.3,1942
1940 Andrew Foley 122,173 Leo A. Temmey 170,269 Nov.7,1940
1938 Clair Roddewig 123,671 Leo A. Temmey 144,125 Nov.8,1938
1936 Clair Roddewig 138,786 Sterling Clark 138,410 Nov.3,1936
1934 D. Walter Conway 158,553 Roy A. Nord 112,764 Nov.6,1934
1932 D. Walter Conway 135,393 Merrell Q. Sharpe 128,644 Nov.8,1932
1930 J.T. Grigsby 86,984 Merrell Q. Sharpe 101,961 Nov.4,1930
1928 Ray E. Doughtery 99,604 Merrell Q. Sharpe137,079 Lars J. Grinager (F.L.) 3,611 Nov.6,1928
1926 Charles F. Noonon 54,194 Buell F. Jones 98,570 C.W.Kirschman (F.L.) 11,772 Nov.2,1926
1924 F.E. Flynn 39,278 Buell F. Jones 105,749 Thos L. Arnold (F.L.) 29,789 Nov.4,1924
1922 J.P. Alexander 38,125 Buell F. Jones 83,221 O.S. Hagen (N.P.) 36,337 Nov.7,1922
1920 Peter Ward 30,108 Byron S. Payne 104,417 O.M. Burch (N.P.) 43,891 Nov.2,1920
1918 Joseph J. Conry 19,712 Byron S. Payne 47,604 Seth Teesdale (Independent) Nov.5, 1918
1916 Joseph J. Conry 47,423 Clarence C. Caldwell 72,245 W.R. DeArment (Socialist) 3,620 Nov.7,1916
1914 L.W.Bicknell 33,705 Clarence C. Caldwell 54,129 M.J. Russell 1,403 Nov.3,1914
1912 W.A. Lynch 42,762 Royal Johnson 66,553 Nov.5,1912
1910 W.A. Lynch 30,533 Royal Johnson 66,085 Stacy A. Cochran (Independent) 1,656 Nov.8,1910
1908 S. Wesley Clark 68,605 John B. Hanten (Good Government)19,613
 S.H. Cranmer (Socialist) 2,906
 Geo W Lattin (Scales of Justice) 141
Nov.3,1908
1906 Calvin J.B. Harris 19,942 S. Wesley Clark 48,287 S.H. Cranmer (Socialist) 2,372 Nov.6,1906
1904 Edmund W. Fiske 23,398 Philo Hall 69,529 S.H. Cranmer (Socialist) 2,866 T.H. Null (People's) 1,158 Nov.8,1904
1902 William A. Lynch 21,055 Philo Hall 48,425 S.H. Cranmer (Socialist) 2,636 Nov.4,1902
1900 John L. Pyle 53,909 Abner E. Hitchcock (Fusion) 40,057 Nov.6,1900
1898 John L. Pyle 38,701 C.S. Palmer (Fusion) 34,147 Nov.8,1898
1896 S.V.Jones 40,931 Melvin Grigsby (Populist) 41,316 Nov.3,1986
1894 S.W. Treesh 8,451 Coe I. Crawford 40,805 T.H. Null (Independent) 27,214 Nov.4,1894
1892 Henry C. Walsh 14,788 Coe I. Crawford 33,778 W.H. Curtis (Independent) 21,730 Nov.8,1892
1890 S.B. Van Buskirk 17,824 Robert Dollard 35,241 S.W. Cosand (Independent) 24,546 Nov.4,1890
1889 H.F. Fellows 22,632 Robert Dollard 55,364 Oct.1,1889

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Article IV, Section 2, Constitution of South Dakota". South Dakota Legislature. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Jason Ravnsborg". Retrieved 27 July 2019.</
  3. ^ "South Dakota Term Limits, Amendment A (1992)". ballotpedia. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  4. ^ "Constitutional Amendment A". sdsos.gov. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  5. ^ "Chapter 1-11 Attorney General". sdlegislature.gov. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  6. ^ Nixon, Lance. "Many Paths to Governor". capjournal.com. Capitol Journal.
  7. ^ "The Longest Partisan State Attorney General Streaks in the nation". lib.umn.edu. October 25, 2018. Retrieved July 20, 2019.</

External links[edit]