South Dakota Democratic Party accepting applications for U.S. District Judge appointment 

For immediate release

Contact: Randy Seiler, Chair or 605-222-8877

SIOUX FALLS, SD (April 22, 2021) The South Dakota Democratic Party is accepting applications for the position of United States Judge for the District of South Dakota that will be vacated by Justice Jeffrey Viken. Augustana University President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has announced she will not seek a federal bench nomination.

We will move with both great care and expediency to offer insight and to recommend a potential nominee to fill the upcoming judicial vacancy that the Biden administration will fill,” said Chair Randy Seiler. “We thank President Herseth Sandlin for her consideration and respect her commitment to the work of Augustana University.”

Chairman Seiler announced that he has assembled a committee to review applications and make the recommendation to the Biden administration. The committee is a diverse group committed to submitting the best nominee for the job. 

“This is a very important position and a big decision. We will take every step to ensure a qualified candidate is submitted. We don’t take these appointments lightly,” said Seiler.  

Along with chairman Seiler, the committee will include:

  • Julian Beaudion, state law enforcement officer and Director of the SD African American History Museum
  • Neil Fulton, former federal public defender
  • Nikki Gronli, Democratic Party Vice Chair 
  • Troy Heinert, South Dakota State Senator  
  • Brendan Johnson, Attorney, and former U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota
  • Peri Pourier, South Dakota State Representative   

Applicants need to submit their resume by 5:00 PM (MT) on Friday, May 7, 2021. Qualified applicants can apply by emailing a cover letter and resume to Anyone who has previously sent a resume need not resubmit their application and will be considered for the nomination. 


Please direct questions to Chair Randy Seiler via email at or by phone at (605) 222-8877.