Looks like Democrats have a unicorn in their midst.
Very quietly, on January 8th, outgoing Obama US Attorney appointee Randy Seiler registered a campaign committee at the Secretary of State to run for the office of Attorney General.
It’s unusual, as Democrats have not run anyone for this office not named Ron Volesky since 1998 – 20 Years ago! Volesky ran since in 2002, 2006 & 2010 to little/no fanfare and ever more dismal results (43%, 33%, and 33%).
While Deputy for many years, Seiler had a short tenure as US Attorney, taking over as Brendan Johnson went into private practice. Seiler’s most noticeable initiative for the office was a mid-2016 addition of a civil rights attorney for the US Attorney’s office partially for a certain issue we’re still hearing about:
Until this year, however, Seiler’s office hasn’t had an lawyer dedicated primarily to civil rights.
That’s changed with Alison Ramsdell’s appointment as the head of the newly-created Civil Rights section. The Flandreau native will lead the office’s efforts to educate the public on civil rights matters and pursue legal action against those who break the law.
The position was added from above, when Attorney General Loretta Lynch released funding for 34 new civil rights prosecutors within the 93 U.S. Attorneys’ offices across the country. Seiler’s office applied for the funding and was awarded it, which made it possible to refocus Ramsdell’s work.
Other efforts include sending follow-up letters from Ramsdell to schools on the federal government’s guidance on transgender rights and setting up an information booth at an LGBT rights gathering in Terrace Park this summer.
Given how unpopular and contentious the Obama Administration’s orders to schools were in South Dakota, with Seiler being the person enforcing President Obama’s will on how bathrooms/locker rooms were to be handled – beefing up his office to do so might mean we’re going to find the issue coming back this fall as a point of debate in the race for Attorney General.