South Dakota Democrats pick their candidates at convention

July 10, 2022 GMT

FORT PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Democrats picked their candidate in what they hope will be a winnable race for Secretary of State but opted not to name a challenger for state Attorney General.

The delegates to the state convention chose former journalist Tom Cool, who ran for auditor in 2018, to challenge Republican Monae Johnson who beat out incumbent Steve Barnett, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. Johnson based her campaign around “election integrity” in a nod to Republican fears that were instigated by former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

“They keep whining about election integrity, which we know are their code words for voter suppression,” said Cool, of Sioux Falls. “They don’t just want to go along with the Supreme Court and go back to the 1950s, they want to return to the 1850s when it was only white men controlling this country.”

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The Democrats didn’t nominate a candidate to challenge Marty Jackley, the former South Dakota attorney general running to reclaim his old job after his successor was removed from office last month.

The Democrats also backed retired public administrator John Cunningham for state treasurer and military veteran Stephany Marty for state auditor.

State Rep. Jennifer Keintz received enthusiastic support to be Jamie Smith’s running mate in his campaign to beat Republican incumbent Gov. Kristi Noem.