SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has yet to make herself available to the Capitol press during the first three weeks of the state’s legislative session, breaking with a decades-old ritual of South Dakota governors holding a weekly news conference to publicly discuss their policy initiatives and take questions from reporters.
The Republican governor, who is a potential 2024 White House contender, has granted numerous TV interviews to national outlets. But in her home state Capitol, where she is proposing a historic tax repeal, new rules for foreign entities purchasing farmland and a batch of bills aimed at aiding new parents, she has not personally taken questions from reporters.
Noem’s retreat from a forum that allows her to face public scrutiny — as well as make a case for her proposals — comes after a campaign season in which candidates nationwide skipped out on debates. The practice deprives the public of a chance to hear politicians respond to questions they may not want to answer. Many officials, such as Noem, have instead made their public case on social media, where they can control their message.
Noem’s spokesman, Ian Fury, declined to say whether she will hold any news conferences this year but said they would be announced in advance. He did not respond to a request for comment on why she has not held any this year.