Why Randy Seiler remains U.S. attorney (and how he got there in the first place)

First, read this official news release issued by Randy Seiler, U.S. attorney for the District of South Dakota:

US Attorney Status

His official biography page is here. His predecessor as U.S. attorney, Democrat Brendan Johnson, resigned effective March 11, 2015. A Black Hills Pioneer column from December 2008 highlighted the likelihood that Johnson would get the post.

Johnson, son of the now-former U.S. senator, succeeded Republican Marty Jackley in 2009. In turn then-Gov. Mike Rounds appointed Jackley as state attorney general. Jackley succeeded Larry Long in the state office after Long received an appointment from Rounds to a new circuit judge seat in Sioux Falls.

The choice for Rounds came down to Jackley and Charlie McGuigan. On Monday, word circulated that McGuigan now plans to run for the Republican nomination for attorney general in 2018, as Jackley runs for the Republican nomination for governor. Jackley succeeded another Republican, Jim McMahon, as U.S. attorney.

Here’s a summary of the twists and turns in the U.S. attorney post for the past 20 years or more. There is a name — a significant defense attorney based in Sioux Falls who’s been in some high-profile cases — circulating in federal court circles in South Dakota as to a possible successor for Randy Seiler. We’ll see if that transpires. A current case might need to conclude first.

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About Bob Mercer

I am a newspaper reporter in Pierre where I cover state government, issues and politics for the Aberdeen American News, the Black Hills Pioneer, the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Pierre Capital Journal, the Rapid City Journal, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Yankton Press & Dakotan. I began covering the Legislature in 1985 and have lived in Pierre since December 1986. I grew up in Wisconsin, worked my way through college, took my first full-time newspapers jobs in Wyoming, and have lived in South Dakota since the summer of 1984 when I moved to Aberdeen to join the American News. I worked for the Rapid City Journal as its state government reporter in Pierre from late 1992 through late 1998. I spent four years as press secretary and a senior aide to Gov. Bill Janklow during his fourth and final term from late 1998 through 2002. I returned to journalism in January 2003 as a self-employed reporter, providing state government coverage to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre and, depending on the year, Aberdeen newspapers. In 2008, the Aberdeen American News offered to hire me as full-time member of the AAN staff, with my reports continuing to be available to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre, Yankton and Rapid City papers. The new arrangement has been in effect since January 2009 as the seven papers continue their remarkable dedication to their readers and the general public, as the only South Dakota news outlets with a full-time reporter covering state government in Pierre throughout the year. In addition to focusing on the Legislature during the annual winter session and its various activities during the interim periods between sessions, I spend many days throughout the year -- traveling as often necessary -- to cover state government boards and commissions which oversee the state universities, technical institutes, outdoors, water, environment, business, public schools, banking, agriculture, utilities, health care and various other areas of public interest. I purposely don't register to vote because of my profession; the last time I recall voting in a presidential election was the first time, 1976, when I had just turned 18. I think I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. Make of that what you want, just don't make much of it.

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