SIOUX FALLS, SD -
U.S. Representative-elect Kristi Noem headed west to South Dakota's second-most populated county Wednesday to thank supporters who might have handed her the state's lone House seat.
The Republican's margin of victory in Pennington County was enough to shore up Noem's defeat of Democratic Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, who carried the state's urban center of Minnehaha County in the east by a far less margin.
Noem lives on a ranch near Castlewood, just under 100 miles north of Sioux Falls. She says she can't quite explain her western popularity but that she appreciates the support.
© 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.