South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (right) emerged victorious in her state’s Republican primary.
Noem has not gone unchallenged this election cycle, with former House Speaker Steve Haugaard launching a bid against her in November.
“We need a full-time governor who puts the people of South Dakota first. Period,” he said at the time. “Kristi Noem has been beholden to special interests, from the NCAA, to big business, to corporate lobbyists.”
Indeed, although Noem was originally spurned by the abandonment of legislation to protect women’s sports – to affirm that the NCAA would “likely take punitive action” for it – it eventually signed a transgender sports bill the following year.
She has risen even higher in the national spotlight during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, portraying herself as one of the few governors to have championed freedom over mandates and restrictions. She called out her Democratic gubernatorial opponent, Rep. Jamie Smith (D), in February for his support for such.
“Jamie has long been a supporter of putting things in the hands of people who should be their personal responsibility to make choices,” she said. “He has a very different view of government than mine.”
“He walked to BLM [Black Lives Matter], he supports more taxes, more spending,” she continued. “I would say we’re very, very far apart when it comes to policies and the approach to the role government should have in people’s lives.”
Earlier this year, Noem said it was essential that Americans run for the Constitution before the midterm elections.
“We should run on the Constitution,” she said in an interview with Fox News. “We should operate with limited government, remembering that the power belongs to the people, and then educating people about what that really means – it means we don’t make decisions for them that the government shouldn’t take; that we will give them information and facts.
More recently, Noem said she would “immediately call for a special session to save lives and ensure that every unborn child has the right to live in South Dakota” if Roe vs. Wade is overthrown.