The Argus Leader is featuring South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley in an article this morning where Marty talks extensively about what looms on the horizon for him less than two years from now – an almost certain run for Governor:
Serving as the state’s top law enforcement official allows an attorney general to keep a high profile and foster a reputation for standing tall in the face of tragedy, highlighting why “AG” is sometimes presented as “aspiring governor.”
“It certainly prepares you from an executive experience standpoint of leading people, handling budgets and knowing all aspects of state government,” says Jackley, who has already started fundraising and says there’s a “likelihood” he will run for the top job in 2018.
“It’s like a job interview. People watch how you work, and they’ve always taken care of the attorney general in those governor races when he focused in on doing his job and serving the people.”
He’s done all the right things to position himself to run,” says Watertown attorney and prominent state Republican Lee Schoenbeck, who has served four total terms in the state legislature. “The thing he may lack is that with Janklow, circumstances catapulted him to the office because law and order became a major issue of that era. I’m sure that Marty Jackley doesn’t wish on the state some catastrophe from which he can prove his leadership skills.”
Certainly not. But as he prepares for a 2018 race that will almost certainly include rising Republican force Mark Mickelson and perhaps even U.S. Representative Kristi Noem, Jackley is seizing upon government integrity and public trust as issues that can set him apart.
As we move through the beginning days of the active 2016 election cycle, it’s more and more apparent how the world is going to abruptly change in South Dakota politics once the dust settles in November.
Unlike his likely opponents, and not having to get through 2016, Marty has the ability to be off and running for Governor now, while Congresswoman Kristi Noem and State Representative Mark Mickelson have to get through another job interview this fall with the voters before they can even consider joining in the hunt for the brass ring in South Dakota politics.
It’s heady stuff, but I don’t think Marty is the type who is going to get too far ahead of himself, as there has always been a practical sense to his approach in the office. When those in the political scene are more often than not prone to go off wild-eyed and half-cocked with demands and pronouncements, Marty’s conduct in the office has always been grounded in practicality, procedure, and in deep recognition of what the law.
Contrary to what Annette Bosworth’s supporters may contend, Marty hasn’t really been one to go off on witch hunts, and has dealt with the matters in front of him based on fact. And that grounded practicality is a good thing.
The article today also highlights another HUGE problem that is evident in the Republican party; one that we’re going to have to ultimately come to grips with in June of 2018.
Today, talking about the Argus article on him, the discussion is about Marty. But there are two other heavyweights in the race. Given the field of potential contenders, how do you choose? Seriously? Attorney General Marty Jackley, State Representative Mark Mickelson, and Congresswoman Kristi Noem are all outstanding candidates in their own right, and it’s easy to see any of them taking up residence in the Governor’s mansion.
All have their high points. All have areas of critique. And I’m sure they’ll all be starting to talk about it over the next 26 months – especially after November. It will be up to us to assess those discussions, and pick which shining star in the GOP’s sky is our favorite.