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District 27 House Candidate Bud May Arrested for Rape Five Days After Losing Election

At least this Republican had the good sense to wait until after the election to get arrested for a sex crime.

The Pennington County Jail currently houses Kyle rancher and Republican politician Bud Marty May, who goes to court at 10 a.m. today to face a charge of second-degree rape.

Pennington County Jail, inmate charge and bond information for Bud Marty May, 2022.11.14 03:31 MST.
Pennington County Jail, inmate charge and bond information for Bud Marty May, updated 2022.11.14 03:31 MST.

Second-degree rape, which involves the use of force, coercion, or threats of immediate and great bodily harm, is a Class 1 felony, meaning May faces a maximum penalty of 50 years in the Pen and a $50,000 fine.

Bud May ran this year as a Republican to represent District 27 in the House alongside his mom, Representative Elizabeth May. Bud lost Tuesday, placing fourth behind his mom, the other incumbent Representative, Democrat Peri Pourier of Wanblee, and Democrat Norma Rendon of Porcupine.

The arrest log also shows the Pennington County Sheriff is holding Bud May for expired license plates, no proof of insurance, and failure to appear in court. Hunter Dunterman of the Mitchell Republic reads that Bud May skipped a September 19 court hearing on those lesser charges.

Mitchell Republic, FB post, 2022.11.13.
Mitchell Republic, FB post, 2022.11.13.

Bud May was booked for rape in the wee hours Sunday morning, so he may not yet have had time to work out a deal with his fellow Republicans in the Attorney General’s office to avoid jail time and the sex offender registry.

In an interview with KNBN-TV during the campaign, candidate Bud May danced around a question about whether crime is on the rise in South Dakota and focused on calling for “a rewrite of what we specify as crime, in particular with the marijuana laws… what we lock people up for, for how long, rehabilitation, violent crime versus non-violent crime….” However, Bud May complained to KELO-TV that Initiated Measure 27, which would have legalized marijuana, “was brought by a special interest group of Colorado” and needed to be “thrown out and rewritten to suit South Dakota’s needs.” To KNBN’s crime question, Bud May said additionally, “one of the big problems we have” is that “somebody who jaywalks might get a bigger slap on the wrist than somebody who robs a convenience store.” Responding to the same crime question from KNBN, Bud’s mom Rep. May said she’s “a strong believer that there are consequences to your actions. We can’t hhave compassion without discipline, and if you make mistakes, you’re going to be punished for it.”

In 2014 Bud May said creating a Tribal National Park in the Badlands was “immoral as all hell.” We may hear in court this morning Bud May’s moral assessment of rape.

While the court is at it this morning, the state might want to consider throwing in campaign finance violations as well. Bud May filed his District 27 House candidacy on April 1, but he didn’t file a statement of organization for his campaign until October 24. Failure to file a statement of organization within 15 days of becoming a candidate is a Class 2 misdemeanor (SDCL 12-27-3).

Bud May also failed to file to appropriate pre-general campaign finance report, but in a supplemental report filed October 24, May reported receiving $600 the day after he skipped court from the Pennington County Republican Party and another $953.33 from the Penn ‘Pubs two weeks later.

Bud May told both KNBN and KELO-TV that his top priority was protecting South Dakota from federal overreach. On Saturday night, Bud May should have made his top priority protecting the women around him from his own overreach.


  1. Nick Nemec 2022-11-14 06:11

    Maybe Bud Marty May and Joel Koskan can share a cell.

  2. 96Tears 2022-11-14 08:48

    Cory, I found a video snippet from the SDGOP recruitment efforts to encourage Bud and Joel to seek elective office this year.

    Just looking for the SDGOP’s finest to carry the banner for Kristi’s war on truthful history in schools, reproductive rights for women and transparent government.

  3. Jake 2022-11-14 09:07

    “Birds of a feather!!!” Anybody else, (including you of GOP thinking) wonder ‘How low can you go?” when running your brightest and best for state office? hmmmm??

  4. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-11-14 09:28

    Bud Marty May’s mom must be so proud of him.

  5. larry kurtz 2022-11-14 09:33

    “Vice is nice but incest is best,” saith the Lord.

  6. Kurt Evans 2022-11-14 10:20

    I taught at Bennett County when Bud was in high school. He was a great football player and a likable kid, and regardless of whether he really did this, I feel sad for him, for the alleged victim, and for their families.

  7. Jake 2022-11-14 11:00

    Kurt, thankfully you didn’t say you ‘felt bad’ for the SD GOP for sponsoring/enabling him!

  8. Mark Anderson 2022-11-14 12:18

    At least his victim can make a quick trip to Minnesota if need be.

  9. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-11-14 15:01

    Hiya, Mark:

    If I understand your post and make the correct inference, the victim might be female. OTOH, might be male. I’ve not kept up on sex (gender) permutations the last fifteen years. I sincerely hope Bud Marty May’s victim afflicted the wounds around his eye.

    Nonetheless, the booking photo is too bizarre and jolly by half.

  10. RST Tribal Member 2022-11-14 15:53

    The bests and brightest upcoming leadership of inept inbred Republicans. Goodness.

  11. Curt 2022-11-14 16:16

    It took awhile, but the RC Jrnl finally picked up the story and posted Bud’s smiling photo on its website.

  12. TGA 2022-11-14 22:13

    Don’t despair, South Dak. With your manslaughter, murder or rape prerequisites for running for or holding public office, you still have a deep bench. Incarcerated South Dakotans as of August 22;

    Manslaughter – 147
    Murder – 152
    Rape – 326

    625 fine, capable candidates. #GOTV

  13. Eljeffe 2022-11-14 22:16

    When the moral ambivalence of your actions finally catches up with the sanctity of your self image, the cognitive dissonance can blow some peoples minds. Sometimes the moment is caught on film. Witness the above.

    And you may ask yourself, “Am I right, am I wrong?”
    And you may say to yourself, “My God, what have I done?”

    Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-11-15 05:12

    Bonnie, Liz May has so far refused to comment on her son’s interactions with law enforcement.

    And a correction: like me, Bud May thought his court appearance yesterday would be about the rape charge, but yesterday morning the court only addressed the vehicular charges for which Bud skipped court in September. Magistrate Judge Sarah Morrison told Bud that the court will work on the rape charge today, “if the state chooses to move forward with charges“.

  15. ds 2022-11-15 08:21

    The repubs tried gerrymandering SD district 27 by including S.E. of Rapid City in Pennington County to hopefully ensure a repub sweep…Again they failed to deliver on the red tsunami and now those who voted for this lackey have mud on their face.

  16. Curt 2022-11-15 22:13

    Kansas City Star headline provides some perspective: “Man who lost to his Mom in Election is charged with rape in SD”.
    Kinda makes ya’ proud, don’t it?

  17. Bob Newland 2023-01-22 20:26

    I believe, based on hearsay from an acquaintance of the May family that the May family paid the victim $10k to not testify against Bud May for raping her.

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