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Noem Challenger Comes Up Short With Petitions

March 28, 2012, 9:00 AM

RAPID CITY, SD -

A Rapid City businesswoman has come up short in her effort to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem.

Stephanie Strong submitted petitions with 2,018 signatures - 63 more than she needed to get on the Republican primary ballot. But South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant ruled about 100 of the signatures invalid because of various mistakes, leaving her short.

Strong says she is surprised by Gant's ruling and will consider challenging it, which she has the right to do. Strong also could run as an independent by submitting 3,171 petition signatures by June 5.

Former journalist Bill Cissell of Sturgis said earlier that he also planned to challenge Noem for the Republican nomination, but Gant says Cissell did not submit any petitions by Tuesday's deadline.

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