South Dakota Attorney General investigates several U.S. Senate c - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

South Dakota Attorney General investigates several U.S. Senate candidates for potential violations

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South Dakota's attorney general is investigating several South Dakota candidates for U.S. Senate for potential violations.

Some of the nominating petitions that put candidates on the ballot are being called into question.

KSFY News spoke with Republican state representative Steve Hickey, who first raised his concerns.

Last month, Hickey filed an affidavit to get several signatures submitted by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth, rejected from consideration.

He said some constituents brought the issue to him and he thought he could help.

Hickey later withdrew the lawsuit but those concerns didn't go away.

Hickey questioned Bosworth's petitions to get on the ballot.

"We have constituents who aren't getting anywhere, and this thing continues and so it takes someone sometimes with a little bit of leverage as an elected official to get the ball rolling," Hickey said.

Which got the attention of state Attorney General Marty Jackley.

"The Secretary of State has asked the Attorney General's office to review several candidate petitions for United States Senate, that have been certified by the Secretary of State to appear on the ballot," Jackley said.

Secretary of State Jason Gant said "specific state laws and rules that must be followed during the petition verification process. All senate candidates met the requirements to be placed on the ballot."

But this investigation shouldn't affect voters who head to the polls for the June primary.

"The courts have made it very clear to prosecutors that if at all possible that actions that we take, either in our investigations or any charging decisions should not affect the outcome of any election if at all possible," Jackley said.

That's something Hickey wonders about.

"I know you need to let the voters decide but if a guy commits a felony do we wait until he's elected or not to blow the whistle," Hickey said.

"The Secretary of State does not have the authority to investigate possible criminal activities and that is why I forwarded those issues to the attorney general," Gant said.

"The important thing to appreciate at this time is that we are looking into it but it's important enough to look into but the looking into should not affect the election," Jackley said.

"Maybe so with technicalities in election law they can decide that, so i'm a little perplexed by the wait , but I'm done, it's being investigated and I'm happy with that outcome," Hickey said.

KSFY News reached out to Annette Bosworth for her reaction to Hickey's accusations.

Bosworth campaign coordinator Daniel Freeman said "the Attorney General’s statement today made it clear that there are multiple candidates petitions under review. To the extent that Dr. Bosworth is one of those candidates, we respect the process and look forward to the resolution of this matter. At this point we are focused on winning the June 3rd primary election where Dr. Bosworth appears on the ballot."



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