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Past Five DCI Directors Endorse Jackley for AG, Abandon Current DCI Chief Natvig

We still don’t know what game killer Jason Ravnsborg may be playing by running his poorly lit crony David Natvig for the Republican Attorney General nomination, but Marty Jackley appears to be playing that game better. Natvig, a big Ravnsborg campaign donor, is a lawyer who never worked as a cop before Ravnsborg appointed him to head the state’s top cop shop, the Division of Criminal Investigation. Natvig’s lack of policing experience is unusual in his current office: the last seven DCI directors, covering the last 35 years, all brought law enforcement experience to the job.

So Marty Jackley, the first declared Republican challenger to Ravnsborg’s rein of error, called up the five most recent former DCI directors and asked them who they’d like to see as the next Attorney General. All five said, “Why, you, Marty!“:

Today, the five former Directors of the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) announced their endorsement of Marty Jackley for Attorney General. The Directors served a span of 26 years and include:

  • Brian Zeeb (2018-2019)
  • Bryan Gortmaker (2008-2018)
  • Jim Vlahakis (2006 – 2008)
  • Kevin Thom (2002-2006)
  • Doug Lake (1996-2002) [Marty Jackley, campaign press release, regurgitated by Jackley-sponsored SDGOP spin blog, 2022.05.17]

Jackley’s slurping up of a pool of state law enforcement veterans who might have given Natvig some credibility comes right after the newest SDSU Poll, supervised by poli sci prof David Wiltse, found that likely Republican voters support Jackley over Ravnsborg 61% to 6% (and a fully clueless 33% so drunk on Fox and Bannon that they still aren’t sure who’s the better South Dakota lawyer and candidate, Marty Jackley or Jason Ravnsborg). Wiltse launched this poll on May 2, a week before Ravnsborg announced Natvig’s bid, so he wasn’t able to give respondents a Natvig–Jackley question.

Jackley’s quick score with Natvig’s five immediate predecessors and the new SDSU poll say one thing: Jason, David, you’re both done. We all know how much you Republicans hate to have any big fight out in the open. So Jason, David, be good party boys. Call off your game, clear the way for a clean Jackley coronation, and hope your master will show you mercy.


  1. 96Tears 2022-05-17 11:55

    Looks like Marty Jackley has hauled out the big broom and swept Natvig out the door. This clearly exposes Natvig’s candidacy as a cheap diversion for anti-Ravnsborg delegates going to Watertown next month. Ravnsborg must be rethinking his strategy.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-05-17 16:43

    Jason really wants to give those delegates on his side some reason to come to convention, even if it’s not himself. Jackley is working hard to wet their blanket. Deterring Ravnsborg delegates from coming to convention may be a good thing for both the party and the state.

  3. P. Aitch 2022-05-17 18:58

    Good one, Cory.
    Rather “woke” than “poorly lit”.

  4. Bob Newland 2022-05-17 20:48

    What is it with fat boys named “Jason?”

  5. grudznick 2022-05-17 20:58

    Yeah. Like Jabba the Gant. What is it with those fellows?

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