PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Early voting opens Friday in South Dakota’s general election. KELOLAND News asked South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem what led her to seek the Republican nomination for re-election. Here are the questions.

  • When did you make the decision to run for re-election?
  • Did you ask your family for their views on running again?
  • The most recent incumbent to lose re-election was Republican Frank Farrar in 1970. You were challenged in a primary this year by state Rep. Steve Haugaard. He later challenged for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor against your running mate, Larry Rhoden. Did those two challenges affect the trajectory of your fall re-election campaign?
  • Did the 40-plus years of Republican victories for the office since Farrar’s loss matter in your decision?
  • How was the initial news of your plan to be a candidate met within the Republican Party leadership?
  • Was there any baseline polling by your campaign or a reliable outside group that showed the candidates’ name ID and support/opposition/undecided? Has there been any since? If so, what have those shown?
  • Your Democrat opponent, Jamie Smith, says he probably would have sat out against Dennis Daugaard. Smith goes on to say, “However, following the absence and neglect of the current administration, I felt a duty to give South Dakotans a choice for better leadership.” ​What is your response to that?

Noem provided a statement that didn’t address several of those questions. Her statement said:

I bring a unique perspective to the role of Governor. I’m a wife, mom, and grandmother. I’ve been an employee and an employer. I’ve owned businesses and started them from scratch. I know the challenges that inflation and regulation bring to families and small businesses. I use this experience everyday in my role as Governor to help the people of our state pursue opportunities and their dreams.
My opponent wants to raise your taxes, implement mandates, take away constitutional rights, grow government, and control your children’s education. I fundamentally disagree and believe in a different path for South Dakota.
I’m honored to receive strong support both from South Dakotans as a whole and from within the Republican Party. But most of all, I’m glad for my family’s continued support as we work together to serve the people of South Dakota.”

Statement from Gov. Noem