Jason Ravnsborg

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Jason Ravnsborg
JasonHeadshot.jpg
31st Attorney General of South Dakota
Assumed office
January 5, 2019
GovernorKristi Noem
Preceded byMarty Jackley
Personal details
Born (1976-04-12) April 12, 1976 (age 43)
Cherokee, Iowa, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of South Dakota (BS, MA, JD)
WebsiteCampaign website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1996–present
RankUS-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel
Battles/warsWar on Terror
 • Iraq Campaign
 • Afghanistan Campaign
AwardsBronze Star Medal ribbon.svg Bronze Star

Jason Richard Ravnsborg[1] (born April 12, 1976) is an American attorney, veteran, and politician from the state of South Dakota. In 2018, he was elected Attorney General of South Dakota.

Early life and education[edit]

Ravnsborg was born in Cherokee, Iowa and graduated from Cherokee Washington High School and the University of South Dakota[2] with a Bachelor of Science in history and political science.[3]

While in college, he participated in the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps program and received a commission as an army transportation officer. Later, Ravnsborg attended the University of South Dakota School of Law, graduating with his Juris Doctor in 2001, as well as a master of arts in history from the University of South Dakota.

Military career[edit]

Ravnsborg has had four company commands during his military career. He also deployed on three different occasions. He was deployed to Germany in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003, to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004, and to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal after coming under enemy fire in Iraq.[2] He has also been awarded other medals. In 2006, he was honored before Congress for his service.[4]

He is currently a lieutenant colonel and Battalion Commander of the 394th Combat Service Support Battalion in the United States Army Reserve. He commands over 600 Soldiers in the four states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Missouri.[5]

Legal career[edit]

He is licensed to practice law in the states of South Dakota and Iowa as well as the federal district courts for South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Federal Court of Claims and the United States Supreme Court.[6]

Ravnsborg clerked from 2001 to 2004. In 2004, he joined the law firm of Harmelink and Fox in Yankton, South Dakota. In 2006, he became a partner at the law firm Harmelink, Fox & Ravnsborg in Yankton, South Dakota.[7] He remained at this position until his election as Attorney General of South Dakota. He also served as deputy state's attorney for Union County.[8]

Political career[edit]

2014 United States Senate election[edit]

Ravnsborg ran for the United States Senate in the 2014 election.[2] He lost in the primary election to Mike Rounds.

2018 South Dakota Attorney General election[edit]

In the 2018 election, Ravnsborg ran for Attorney General of South Dakota. He officially began his campaign n February 21, 2017, at the Hughes County Lincoln Day Dinner. During the he drove approximately 140,000 miles visiting each of South Dakota's 66 counties at least twice learning about the issues that were important to law enforcement, states attorneys and citizens. He then built his platform for the campaign out of these issues and by developing solutions to the issues mentioned around the state. Meanwhile he continued to maintain his law practice at the law firm of Harmelink Fox and Ravnsborg in Yankton, South Dakota; continued to be a Deputy Stats Attorney in Union County and became the Battalion Commander of the 394th Combat Service Support Battalion in Fremont, Nebraska where he oversaw oversaw 600 Soldiers in the four states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Missouri.

On March 13, 2017, Chief Deputy Attorney General Charlie McGuigan was the second person to enter the race. Three days later on March 16, 2017, Lawrence County States Attorney John Fitzgerald also entered the race.[9] On September 20, 2017, State Senator Lance Russell announced his run for Attorney General.[10] On March 16, 2018, McGuigan would suspend his campaign before the convention.[11]

On June 23, 2018, Ravnsborg won the Republican Party nomination at the Republican Convention in Pierre, South Dakota, by defeating John Fitzgerald, Lawrence County States Attorney and State Senator Lance Russell (politician).[12][13]

In the first Round of voting at the Convention Ravnsborg lead with 47% of the vote; Russell had 27% and Lawrence County States Attorney John Fitzgerald had 26%. Therefore, Fitzgerald was eliminated after the first round of voting and Ravnsborg and Russell would go head to head. Ravnsborg then defeated South Dakota State Senator Lance Russell of Hot Springs, South Dakota for the Republican nomination by a margin of 63% to 37% at the Republican Convention in Pierre, South Dakota.[14]

The Democratic party nominated former U.S. Attorney Randy Seiler, for the general election after he defeated Tatewin Means.[15]

Both Seiler and Ravnsborg were alumni of the University of South Dakota School of Law, ensuring that a graduate of the school would continue to hold the office, a streak that has continued since 1959.

Ravnsborg defeated U.S. Attorney Randy Seiler in the November 6 general election.[16]

South Dakota Attorney General, General Election 2018[17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jason Ravnsborg 179,071 55.16%
Democrat Randy Seiler 145,558 44.84%

Attorney General of South Dakota[edit]

Trust case[edit]

Ravnsborg filed an amicus brief in support of the Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Trust in the United States Supreme Court in North Carolina Department of Revenue vs. the Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust[18] The states of Alaska, Nevada and Texas joined with South Dakota in their amicus brief.

Robocall legislation support[edit]

Ravnsborg joined with the Attorneys General of all 50 states to support SB 151 (2019-2020), the TRACED (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence) sponsored by South Dakota U.S. Senator John Thune and Massachusetts U.S. Senator Ed Markey.[19]

Attorney General Ravnsborg discussing the TRACED Act with Senator John Thune.
Attorney General Ravnsborg discussing the TRACED Act with Senator John Thune

Guns[edit]

Ravnsborg stated during the campaign he would fight to uphold the District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago decisions from the United States Supreme Court. He is a National Rifle Association life member.[20] Ravnsborg testified in support of SB 47, a bill to allow carrying of guns without a permit. Governor Kristi Noem would sign the bill into law making South Dakota the 14th state to enact such a law.[21] [22]

Transparency[edit]

As Ravnsborg campaigned he found many people did not know what the Attorney General did or what services could be provided. He stated in interviews that he would use social media and other campaign tools to be more transparent and explain to the public what the Attorney General's office does for the state. He developed a weekly youtube video series that was called "What's New at the Attorney General's office" where each week a new video told what was going on in the office or what a particular person does in and for the office.[23] He then appeared on an episode of the South Dakota Public Television program "South Dakota Focus" with Stephanie Rissler where he took questions from citizens across the state.[24] From that episode he developed another youtube video series "5 on Fridays with South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg" where in he sought to address questions from the South Dakota Focus program and other topics around the office or through questions he received.[23]

Awards and decorations[edit]

LTC_Jason_Ravnsborg.jpg
LTC Jason Ravnsborg.
ArmyOSB.svg 4 Overseas Service Bars
Combat Action Badge.svg|Combat Action Badge
|Bronze Star Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters
|Joint Service Commendation Medal
|Joint Service Achievement Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Unit Commendation with oak leaf cluster
|Air Force Achievement Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
|Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars
Bronze star
|Iraq Campaign Medal (with 1 Service Star)
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
|Armed Forces Reserve Medal with bronze Hourglass and "M" Device
Army Service Ribbon
Award numeral 2.png Army Overseas Service Ribbon with bronze award numeral 2
Bronze star
NATO Medal for service with ISAF


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Degrees Awarded at USD". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, IA. June 20, 1998. p. 6 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ a b c Montgomery, David (December 16, 2013). "Army reservist to run for U.S. Senate". Argusleader.com. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  3. ^ "Cherokee WHS Grad seeks S.D. AG post". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  4. ^ "Jason Ravnsborg's Biography; Community". atg.sd.gov. May 13, 2019. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  5. ^ Nielsen, Rob (June 28, 2018). "Making The Rounds | Community". yankton.net. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  6. ^ "Jason Ravnsborg's Biography; Community". atg.sd.gov. May 13, 2019. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  7. ^ KSFY. "Jason Ravnsborg to run for South Dakota Attorney General". Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  8. ^ "State's Attorney; Community". unioncountysd.org. July 16, 2018. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  9. ^ "John Fitzgerald announces run for South Dakota Attorney General". kotatv.com. March 16, 2017. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  10. ^ "Lance Russell Announces Candidacy for Attorney General". September 20, 2017. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  11. ^ "McGuigan announces suspension of campaign for AG". dakotawarcollege.com. March 16, 2018. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  12. ^ "Yankton lawyer Jason Ravnsborg wins GOP attorney general nod". June 23, 2018. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  13. ^ "Ravnsborg turns sad annivesary into winning way forward in attorney general's campaign". SDPB. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  14. ^ "2018 republican State Convention Results". southdakotagop.com. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  15. ^ "Democrats favor Seiler over Means". argusleader.com. capitoljournal.com. June 18, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  16. ^ "South Dakota election results: Jason Ravnsborg wins Attorney General race". Argusleader.com. November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  17. ^ "General Election - November 6, 2018" (PDF). sdsos.gov. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  18. ^ "U.S. Supreme Court Docket Search 18-457". supremecourt.gov. May 13, 2019. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  19. ^ "Attorney General Jaon Ravnsborg urges Congress to take action against Robcalls". newscenter1.tv. March 5, 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  20. ^ [citation needed]
  21. ^ "SB47 House State Affairs". sdpb.sd.gov. January 28, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  22. ^ "South Dakota Governor signs law to allow concealed handguns without a permit". thehill.com. January 31, 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  23. ^ a b "SD Attorney General". youtube.com. May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  24. ^ "SDF 2415 Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg". pbs.org. March 20, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Marty Jackley
Attorney General of South Dakota
2019–present
Incumbent