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US Rep. Noem to run for SD governor in 2018

MITCHELL, S.D.--Recently elected U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem will run for governor of South Dakota in 2018. According to a news release sent by the Kristi Noem for Governor campaign, the Hamlin County native will seek the governor's office in Pierre, w...

U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem speaks during a forum at Dakotafest earlier this year. (Matt Gade/Republic)
U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem speaks during a forum at Dakotafest earlier this year. (Matt Gade/Republic)

MITCHELL, S.D.-Recently elected U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem will run for governor of South Dakota in 2018.

According to a news release sent by the Kristi Noem for Governor campaign, the Hamlin County native will seek the governor's office in Pierre, which will be vacated by term-limited Gov. Dennis Daugaard.

Noem, who was elected to her fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 8 by a 64.1 percent to 35.9 percent margin over Democratic challenger Paula Hawks, seeks to become the first woman to serve as governor in the state's history.

"I love South Dakota and believe our leaders have done a lot of things right," Noem said in a statement released Monday. "But we could use some fresh ideas from someone who has had to hustle to make a dollar and pinch a penny to make it last."

Noem, who made a career in agriculture as a farmer and rancher, said she wanted to use her time in Congress to make a difference rather than establish a career as a Washington politician. With a vacancy looming in Pierre, Noem is looking to take her political experience in both the South Dakota Legislature and U.S. Congress back to her home state.

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"South Dakota's future depends on our ability to create new opportunities," Noem said. "I want our small businesses to continue to thrive in South Dakota. I want our economy to grow and reach its fullest potential. I want our young people to be able to find rewarding careers and raise their children surrounded by family and friends in communities that solve problems together."

After winning re-election to the U.S. House, the Republican congresswoman said she will take a break from campaigning until next year. In 2017, Noem said the campaign will officially get into gear.

It remains to be seen who will contest Noem in the 2018 gubernatorial race, as Noem became the first to officially throw her hat in the ring Monday. State Rep. Mark Mickelson recently announced he would not run for governor, but fellow Republican Attorney General Marty Jackley has long hinted at the possibility of running for the office following his term as AG.

Noem, who turns 45 later this month, narrowly defeated Democratic incumbent Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in 2010 by a 48-46 percent margin before easily defeating Democratic challengers in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Noem also served two terms in the South Dakota House.

If elected, Noem would become the first female governor in South Dakota following a string of 32 men elected to the office.

Related Topics: KRISTI NOEM
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