Haugaard files to challenge Noem

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Now there are two candidates planning to run for governor of South Dakota in 2022.

Republican lawmaker Steven Haugaard has filed organizational paperwork for his campaign with the South Dakota Secretary of State.

He joins the current Republican governor, Kristi Noem. She officially announced her campaign for re-election on Friday.

Haugaard has won election four times to the state House of Representatives. The Sioux Falls lawyer served the 2019-2020 term as House speaker.

He successfully pressed for a special legislative session last year as Noem received and disbursed federal COVID-19 aid.

Another area where Haugaard and Noem clearly differ is the future of state Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

For months Noem has called for Ravnsborg to resign, and for the Legislature to remove him from office if he doesn’t, in the wake of the death of pedestrian Joe Boever after being struck by the car Ravnsborg was driving on the night of September 12, 2020. An attorney representing Ravnsborg pleaded no-contest to two misdemeanors facing Ravnsborg related to the crash. Last week Haugaard voted against the House opening an investigation into the possible impeachment of Ravnsborg.

Noem spent four years in the state House and won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, defeating Democrat incumbent Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.

Noem served four terms in the U.S. House. She defeated then-Attorney General Marty Jackley for the 2018 Republican nomination for governor and got past Democrat Billie Sutton in the general election.

Haugaard filed his paperwork Friday, November 12, shortly before 1 p.m. CT. Noem announced her candidacy that same day.

No Democrat has yet announced plans to run.

People intending to seek state, legislative or county elected offices in South Dakota in 2022 can’t officially begin circulating candidacy petitions until January 1.

Former lieutenant governor Steve Kirby of Sioux Falls is chairing Noem’s re-election campaign. Haugaard’s wife, Mary, is chairing his.

Noem’s re-election website currently features a variety of fundraising appeals and shopping items. It includes a page that says, “Keep anti-American curriculum out of our classrooms!” and shows a red “stop” sign next to “Critical Race Theory” and “The 1619 Project,” a New York Times look into the role of slavery in U.S. history.

A governor has never lost a primary challenge in the history of South Dakota, according to Tony Venhuizen, a former chief of staff for Noem and for the previous governor, Dennis Daugaard.

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