SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A former U.S. attorney for the district of South Dakota and outgoing Democratic Party Chairman in South Dakota has died.
Randy Seiler’s family said he suffered a heart attack while running along Oahe Dam in Pierre last week; as of Friday, he was in a medically-induced coma at Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls. On Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed Seiler’s death to KELOLAND News. A statement from the South Dakota Democratic Party says Seiler died Monday night surrounded by family.
Seiler had served since 2019 as the Democratic Party’s state chairman. He didn’t seek re-election this year. He was a long-time federal prosecutor and was the acting U.S. attorney in South Dakota when President Barack Obama nominated him for the post in 2015. Among those backing Seiler for the top job was U.S. Senator Mike Rounds, a Republican and a past governor.
On Twitter on Tuesday, Rounds commented about Seiler’s death.
Randy Seiler was not only my neighbor but a good friend. I always appreciated our candid conversations about issues facing South Dakota. He cared deeply for our state and our citizens.Sen. Mike Rounds
Seiler was the Democrat nominee for state attorney general in 2018.
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley shared the following statement about Seiler on Twitter.
Randy Seiler was a brilliant lawyer, a great U.S. Attorney for SD, a strong advocate for victims, a dear friend, and most importantly, an amazing father and husband.
Randy became a friend in the late seventies when my dad and he were law school classmates. I have been fortunate to try cases with and against him, as well as in front of him as a Tribal Judge always finding him to be fair with integrity. God speed my friend!Marty Jackley, South Dakota Attorney General
Democrat Sen. Reynold Nesiba, who is also Senate Minority leader in the legislature, said about Seiler’s death, “This is an enormous loss to the people of SD.”
The Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 2022, Brian Bengs, shared this message on social media.
Reflecting on Randy Seiler’s passing, the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson are fitting: “The purpose of life is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Randy exemplified every aspect & will be missed.Brian Bengs
Former Democratic House Minority Leader and Candidate for Governor Jamie Smith says Seiler’s “profound impact on South Dakota cannot be understated.”
Seiler’s term as chair of the South Dakota Democratic Party was set to end on May 1. The woman who was to take the role is now serving as the acting chair until her elected term begins.
I am in shock. We have lost one of the great leaders of our Party. I personally have lost a mentor and friend. I fall short of words to express my sadness on his sudden passing. I pray his soul rests in peace. I wish Wanda and his family immense strength as they move forward.Jennifer Slaight-Hansen, South Dakota Democratic Party acting Chair
Alison Ramsdell, the current U.S. attorney for South Dakota, issued a statement Tuesday evening. “With profound sadness, our office mourns the untimely passing of our friend and former colleague Randy Seiler. Randy served South Dakota for over two decades as a federal prosecutor and, ultimately, as United States Attorney. He led with unparalleled dedication to the cause of justice and equality under the law. Randy was an inspiring and tenacious leader, and we will miss him dearly. Our thoughts are with Randy’s wife, Wanda, and their family during this difficult time.”
Final arrangements are pending.
Seiler was 76.