Local political website inspired investigation into U.S. senate - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Local political website inspired investigation into U.S. senate candidates

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South Dakota's attorney general issued arrest warrants for two former U.S. senate candidates Wednesday.

Republican candidate Annette Bosworth and independent candidate Clayton Walker were both seeking retiring senator Tim Johnson's seat.

They're now facing charges for questionable campaigning in that race.

KSFY News spoke with the man who first brought allegations against Bosworth back in April.

He wished this would have happened before the election but is pleased with the results.

In a recent press conference, Bosworth admitted in her own words that she did not witness some of her own nominating signatures.

"I dated my petition correctly. Did my sister sign the petition while I was in the Philippines? Yes, she did. Did I sign that I know her, and that I affirm that was her signature? Yes I did," Bosworth said.

But the law requires candidates to gather each of their nominating signatures face-to-face to qualify their petition to get on the ballot.  Now,  former U.S. Senate candidates Bosworth and Walker, both face 12 felony charges for perjury and false or forged signatures.

Madville Times editor and publisher Cory Allen Heidelberger said "a person who has that kind of disregard for the law, on that basic test should never appear on a ballot, and should never take campaign donations from people to fund such an illegitimate candidacy."

Heidelberger has been following Bosworth's campaign and raised his concerns by filling an affidavit with the state.

"We have rules for a reason and rules apply to everybody, and we especially have rules for getting on the ballot but because democracy is important we have to do things by the book," Heidelberger said.

Despite the affidavit, Bosworth remained on the ballot.

South Dakota attorney general Marty Jackley said "the direction that we have received, we prosecutors have received from the courts, is that if at all possible we should wait to take any action until after an election."

"I wish action would have been taken sooner to keep her off the ballot. I wish action would have been taken sooner to end her candidacy," Heidelberger said.

But Heidelberger is satisfied with the action taken by the state.

"I was pleased to see the attorney general take action on crimes against the ballot, crimes against election law. I think the violations were pretty clear from what I found in my investigation of Dr. Bosworth's petitions and her online statements," Heidelberger said.

Bosworth is due in court in Hughes County on June 23rd.
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