By Dan Bechtold, Editior
Lawrence County state’s attorney John Fitzgerald wants to be South Dakota’s next attorney general.
Fitzgerald was in Winner on April 9 for the Lincoln Day dinner.
He is one of three Republicans seeking the party’s nomination as attorney general.
Current attorney general Marty Jackley is running for governor.
Fitzgerald says he has the level of experience that sets him apart from the other candidates for attorney general. He says he has the determination for serving justice and helping people.
Fitzgerald received his undergraduate degree in history from Black Hills State University in 1977 and his law degree from the University of South Dakota in 1979.
The candidate has been a prosecuting attorney in South Dakota for 38 years. He was elected state’s attorney in Butte County and then became a special state’s attorney in Lawrence County, working half time in each county.
Since 1995, Fitzgerald has been the Lawrence County state’s attorney.
He says it would be a dream come true to be elected attorney general. “The work of attorney general is similar to what I do as state’s attorney but on a larger level. I think I am well qualified and I am up to the challenge,” he said. “I think I could be a good addition to the attorney general’s office.”
When asked what kind of attorney general he would be, he responded: “I would be one that has a lot of practical experience as a prosecuting attorney. I have a lot of valuable insight and skill and knowledge into what it takes to be an attorney general.”
Originally from Boston, Fitzgerald explained his background as the oldest son of Judge John Fitzgerald. He explained that his family was affected by an attempt on the life of his father and how the mafia tried to kill his father.
His father was a criminal defense attorney in Boston who was representing people that work for the mafia. Fitzgerald said he was 12 years old at the time.
His father crossed the mafia and they decided they were going to kill hm. They planted a bomb in his car and when he started it the bomb went off blowing off the attorney’s leg and maimed his other leg. His father survived and agreed to testify against the mafia.
The government got the older Fitzgerald a job with the Small Business Administration working with disaster relief. The elder Fitzgerald came to Rapid City after the 1972 flood. He liked the area and moved his family to western South Dakota.
Fitzgerald and his wife, Mary, have been married for 39 years and have three grown children and five grandchildren who all live in South Dakota.