Governor appoints a long list of people

Gov. Dennis Daugaard made some new appointments to state boards and commissions recently. Among them:

David Chicoine of Brookings to the Council of Economic Advisers, succeeding Randy Stuefen of Vermillion.

Molly Fulton of Fort Pierre to the Board of Dentistry, for Tina Van Camp of Pierre.

Caleb Arceneaux of Rapid City to the Board of Tourism, for Stan Anderson of Wall.

David Wheeler of Huron to the Lottery Commission, for Bob Faehn of Watertown.

Kellie Beck of Pierre to the Board of Internal Control, for Laura Schaeffer of Pierre.

Michelle Glodt of Pierre to the Commission on Equal Access to Our Courts, for Cheryl Rogers.

Carl Carlson of Sioux Falls to the Workforce Development Council, for Dave Bonde of Fort Pierre.

Robert Buri of Watertown to the Board of Examiners of Psychologists, for Sara Schilplin of Spearfish.

Donald McCoy of Brandon to the Board of Addiction and Prevention Counselors, for Barbara Ohme of Sioux Falls.

Kay Schallenkamp of Spearfish to the Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship Board, for Terry Sabers of Mitchell.

Jeff Wangen of Rapid City to the Board of Examiners for Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists, for Wayne Zako.

With Seiler chosen, who will Republicans run?

The selection of former US Attorney Randy Seiler of Fort Pierre as the Democratic candidate for state attorney general Friday raised the stakes for Republicans when they convene for their state convention this weekend in Pierre.

According to some Republican insiders, Jason Ravnsborg of Yankton was the frontrunner among delegates. He hasn’t tweeted about his candidacy since June 9, however. He has the least prosecuting experience in the field, serving as a volunteer in neighboring Union County. He has continued to campaign, sending flyers last week.

Ravnsborg (pronounced rouns-berg) previously announced endorsements from Republican National Committeeman Ried Holien, a former legislator from Watertown; current lawmakers Jordan Youngberg of Madison, Nancy Rasmussen of Hurley and Art Rusch of Vermillion; state’s attorneys from Haakon, Kingsbury, Brule, Fall River, Oglala Lakota, Yankton and Union counties; and sheriffs from many counties.

John Fitzgerald of Spearfish is the Lawrence County state’s attorney. His campaign slogan is, “Because experience matters.” He last tweeted Sunday about his candidacy. It showed a mailer listing endorsements from state’s attorneys for 29 counties, including Aaron McGowan of Minnehaha, Mark Vargo of Pennington, Christopher White of Brown, Kevin Krull of Meade and Jim Miskimins of Davison.

During the weekend Fitzgerald posted on Twitter: “Fitz v Seiler ~ Now that’s a Race.” He has recently highlighted photos of his family, his father a retired circuit judge, his grandchildren and his record of consecutive victories in state’s attorney elections starting in 1980.

State Sen. Lance Russell of Hot Springs, a former state’s attorney for Fall River County, is the third candidate. He recently won a primary election for his Senate seat and has to choose this week whether to continue seeking the Republican nomination for attorney general.

If Russell goes forward Saturday, he would have to relinquish his Senate candidacy. However, it’s unclear whether Republican leaders from his three counties of Pennington, Custer and Fall River could re-select him for the Senate seat if he doesn’t win the Republican candidacy for attorney general.

The fourth candidate was Charles McGuigan of Pierre. He is chief deputy to state Attorney General Marty Jackley, who lost June 5 to U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem for the Republican nomination for governor. Jackley can’t seek a third consecutive election for attorney general. McGuigan suspended his campaign for attorney general in March.

Noem hasn’t made publicly known her preference for attorney general. She also will declare her choice this week for lieutenant governor. Her campaign treasurer, Ted Hustead of Wall, is listed as a $500 contributor to Fitzgerald.

In 1986, Republican primary winner and later Gov. George S. Mickelson influenced Republican delegates to select Roger Tellinghuisen, the Lawrence County state’s attorney, rather than Michael Jackley, the Meade County lawyer (and father of Marty) and pre-convention frontrunner.

Pre-primary reports on campaign finances showed as of the mid-May filing deadline:

Fitzgerald raised $25,210 this year including a personal $10,000 loan to his campaign and spent $12,385;

McGuigan began the year with $4,707.55, raised zero this year and spent $1,196.50, including $850 to other candidates’ committees;

Ravnsborg began with $31,965, raised $50,480 this year and spent $19,189;

Russell began with $13,664; raised $10,515 this year and spent $16,066; and

Seiler raised $90,254 this year and spent $29,034. Seiler subsequently reported supplemental contributions of $4,500 through June 4.

Republican delegates officially meet Saturday to choose their candidate.

FIRST UPDATE: As of Monday morning, according to Noem campaign spokeswoman Brittany Comins, “Kristi has not weighed into the attorney general’s race at this point.”

South Dakota gives voters two more years than Ohio does

South Dakota has a different approach than Ohio takes for de-listing registered voters.

In Ohio, a postcard is sent if a voter hasn’t been active in two years and then waits four years to permanently de-list.

In South Dakota, a postcard is sent if a voter hasn’t active in four years and then waits four years to permanently de-list.

The US Supreme Court upheld the Ohio method Monday. The South Dakota law seems to correspond to the four-year cycle of presidential elections that traditionally have drawn more voters than statewide elections have for non-presidential races. South Dakota’s statewide elections occur during even-numbered years that don’t match the presidential elections.

GOED reaches for the Sky

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development that promotes South Dakota as a place for businesses to open or expand has a 31-page spread in the June issue of Sky magazine that Delta publishes for its airline passengers.

GOED staff member Mary Lehecka Nelson talked about it Tuesday to the state Board of Economic Development.

Advertisers included businesses such as Poet, Terex, RPM, Sterling Technology, Adams Thermal Systems, Adams Fabrication and Sourcing, Avera Cancer Institute, Immutrix Therapeutics, Regional Health, South Dakota Trust Association, Grand Prairie Foods, VRC Metal Systems and Kitchen Tune-Up.

Other advertisers were Aberdeen, Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Vermillion and Watertown, as well as South Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, Black Hills State University, Dakota State University, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Northern State University, Lake Area Technical Institute, Dakota Wesleyan University and Custer State Park.

Voter registration trend continues

Call them the “third column.” Heading into the June 5 statewide election, independent and no-party voters now rank second in 11 counties.

There are more “third-column” voters registered than Democrats in Butte, Lawrence, Pennington, Meade, Custer, Fall River, Brookings, Lincoln and Union counties.

There are more third-column than Republicans in heavily Democratic counties of Oglala Lakota and Todd.

Together they’re one-sixth of South Dakota’s 66 counties.

Statewide, registrations as of Wednesday were 156,405 Democrats; 249,932 Republicans; 121,478 independents and NPAs; 471 Constitutionalists; 1,722 Libertarians; and 791 others.

The spread 10 years ago for the November general election? 204,413 Democrats; 241,528 Republicans; and 83,147 independents and others.

No crypto complaints in South Dakota so far

South Dakota is tracking the continental actions under way regarding state and provincial probes of crypto-currencies such as bitcoin, according to Larry Deiter, director for the state Division of Securities. He issued this statement earlier Tuesday:

“South Dakota is a member of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) which yesterday issued a press release in regards to a “Cyrpto Currency Sweep.” In April 2018, NASAA organized a task force of its member state and provincial securities regulators to begin a coordinated series of investigations into ICOs and cryptocurrency-related investment products. South Dakota is not directly on the task force, but is kept up to date on investigations and enforcement issues through the task force’s reports to the association. The division continues to monitor the development of crypto currencies and how they fit into securities regulation. To date, the division hasn’t received any consumer inquires or complaints into crypto currencies.”

Registrations might explain part of Sioux Falls mayor race

As Paul Ten Haken prepares to officially take office as mayor of Sioux Falls on May 15, the run-off’s ramifications still rumble.

The South Dakota Republican Party openly backed Ten Haken in the run-off. His run-off opponent, Jolene Loetscher, openly spoke at the South Dakota Democratic Party’s McGovern weekend.

So much for a non-partisan municipal election.

Here is one part of the explanation for the Republicans’ victory.

The May 1 voter-registration numbers for Minnehaha County showed 45,215 Republicans; 35,508 Democrats; and 29,992 independents.

Eight years ago, after then-Democrat Mike Huether was elected mayor of South Dakota’s largest city, general-election registrations were 44,451 Republicans; 41,679 Democrats; and 19,142 independents.

In other words, Minnehaha County gained nearly 1,000 Republicans; Democrats lost about 6,000; and independents climbed by more than 10,000.

Sioux Falls meanwhile continued to see population grow in Lincoln County to the south. Lincoln County registrations as of May 1 were 17,403 Republicans; 8,590 Democrats; and 8,954 independents.

Eight years ago, Lincoln County registrations for the general election were for 13,943 Republicans; 8,427 Democrats; and 5,106 independents.

So Lincoln County during eight years of Huether gained more than 3,000 Republicans and some 3,800 independents, while Democrats added about 200.

Huether, by the way, switched his registration while mayor to an independent.

Paul Ten Haken joins Gary Hanson and Dave Munson as Republicans elected mayor since the city government switched to home rule. Three of the four winners of the open seat have been Republicans since then.

A fast finish for regents

In an amazing feat, the state Board of Regents completed a long agenda Wednesday afternoon during the meeting at the University of South Dakota.

The regents will still meet with legislators from the Vermillion area for breakfast Thursday, then convene at 9 a.m. solely to adjourn.

SDRS might soon enter the Internet era

The South Dakota Retirement System trustees are one of the remaining boards connected to state government that don’t routinely provide Internet coverage of their meetings. That might change in 2019, according to Rob Wylie, the system’s executive director.

Three of the quarterly meetings have been at The View, a restaurant complex east of Pierre on SD 34. (The fourth meeting each year is in Sioux Falls at the State Investment Office.) The View is closing, and that coincides with the end of its business arrangement with SDRS.

“It is a timely question as our contract with the View is ending this December. We are currently looking for a new location for our meetings and we will make that one of the criteria in our search,” Wylie said.

There is a mixture of elected trustees who represent their respective state, county, municipal and school-board governments, as well as governor-appointed trustees, including Lt. Gov. Matt Michels. Chairman is state Supreme Court Justice Steven Zinter.

The Daugaard administration has made transparency a priority, with the governor at times asking Cabinet members about their efforts.