It was reported by Newsmax that former President Donald Trump on Tuesday gave his backing to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem as she seeks reelection this year.Trump released his endorsement through his Save America PAC, saying:
“Kristi Noem has done a great job as Governor of South Dakota. She is strong on Borders, the Second Amendment, preserving land and Energy Dominance, Medical Freedom, and kept South Dakota open during COVID.
She fully supports our great Law Enforcement, Military, our wonderful Vets — and is a fighter for the incredible people of South Dakota. Kristi has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”
Noem, a Republican who will finish her first term in office in January, has been a firm ally of Trump. When he visited Mount Rushmore in 2020 to bring fireworks back to the national monument after a long absence, the governor presented him with a mockup of the monument with his own face added alongside presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt.
According to Fox, Noem has long been an ally of Trump’s, and he campaigned for her in the state in 2018 during her first run for governor. Noem was a congresswoman before she became governor and gained national recognition during the pandemic for refusing to shut down the state and never imposing a mask mandate like other states did.
She also allowed the August 2020 Sturgis motorcycle rally to go ahead even as most large events in other states were canceled.
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In response to her endorsement, Republican challenger state Rep. Steve Haugaard claimed the governor has neglected South Dakota for national politics, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported.
“I have the utmost respect for President Trump’s accomplishments, but he has seen Gov. Noem much more over the last two years than the citizens of South Dakota,” Haugaard said. “She’s been very busy campaigning outside the state and laying the groundwork for her national ambitions, while I continue to be focused on the people of South Dakota and the work that needs to be done here.”
There has been speculation Noem may run for president in 2024.