SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The general election is still three months away and the gubernatorial race has started to heat up with new ads launched over the last week.
On July 27, candidate Jamie Smith launched a TV spot focusing on current Governor, and opponent, Kristi Noem. The ad depicts two men watching Governor Kristi Noems ad, making comments about where she travels to and her staff. Then, Jamie Smith appears and says: “Isn’t it time for a governor who puts you ahead of her career?”
KELOLAND News reached out to the Smith campaign to ask why their team chose to launch this ad campaign.
“We wanted to point out the fact that South Dakotans feel forgotten by Kristi Noem,” Smith said via email. “We’ve gone to nearly every county in this state and hear the same responses the gentlemen in the ad vocalized: Kristi Noem cares more about her career ambitions than she does representing us in Pierre. It’s time South Dakotans had a Governor who is focused on them.”
The Noem campaign argues that it’s Jamie Smith that is out of touch with South Dakotans, according to communications director, Ian Fury.
Days after the Smith ad aired, the Noem campaign launched jamieandjoe.com. The site features Smith’s ‘F’ rating from the National Rifle Association and his support of President Joe Biden. We reached out to the Noem campaign to ask the reason behind the website and whether the timing was related to Smith’s ad featuring Noem.
“Jazzmine, as the release says, the purpose of the site is to show how closely Representative Jamie Smith aligns with President Joe Biden and how out of touch he is with South Dakota values,” Communications director Ian Fury said via email.
Fury also directed us to his Twitter account and tweets in response to Smith calling the website “fear mongering.”
“Jamie is afraid that his record will be exposed — that’s the only “fear” I see,” Fury tweeted.
When asked about the website and Fury’s tweet, Smith said he would be “happy” to discuss his record and would encourage Noem to participate in more than one debate to further the conversation.
“Kristi Noem’s solution to any major problem seems to be to throw a website at it, so I guess this means she considers me to be a major problem for her,” Smith said.
We asked both campaigns about these attack ads and whether that means South Dakotans are in for a contentious battle for Governor but only Smith answered the question directly.
“I really don’t think this is an attack ad. It simply points out the sentiment that we are hearing around the state. The Governor’s office isn’t just a platform to launch a run for a Presidential campaign. I don’t think accountability is negativity,” Smith said.
Fury instead directed KELOLAND News to a press release on the launch of the website for our reference.
Tracey Quint is also in the running for governor as the Libertarian candidate.