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Jackley moves $700K toward governor run

PIERRE (AP) — Attorney General Marty Jackley said Tuesday that he's forming a new political committee and has about $730,000 on hand as he prepares to run for governor in 2018.

Jackley told The Associated Press that the money is in a new governor committee and a separate political action committee.

Jackley's disclosure came a day after U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem declared a run for governor, first reported by the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

Both Republicans were moving ahead of a change in state law that limits how much money they can transfer from existing campaign accounts into committees for new political office.

The law that goes into effect Wednesday prohibits governor candidates or their campaign committees from accepting more than $4,000 in contributions from a single person or political committee in a calendar year.

The ballot measure, which passed last week, likely caused the governor's race to firm up more quickly than it otherwise would have.

Noem's decision means that she won't pursue a fifth term in Congress in 2018. A spokesman for Noem said she transferred $1.6 million from her U.S. House account to her governor account on Monday.

Jackley, who is barred by term limits from another stint as the state's top prosecutor, said that right now he's "focused on serving as attorney general and making South Dakota safe."

Jackley said people will see him addressing public corruption and violent crime and fighting against methamphetamine, pointing to issues that could become central to a governor campaign as election season approaches.

Jackley was U.S. attorney for South Dakota before he was appointed attorney general in 2009, then elected and re-elected in 2010 and 2014.

State Rep. Mark Mickelson of Sioux Falls, a third prominent Republican frequently mentioned as a candidate for governor, last week decided against running, saying he wasn't ready for the commitment a statewide campaign requires.