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Politics

Sioux Falls Democratic legislator announces run for governor

Jamie Smith for governor announcement
Lee Strubinger
/
SDPB
State Rep. Jamie Smith at a press conference announcing his campaign for governor.

A Sioux Falls Democrat is running for governor.

Rep. Jamie Smith is the House minority leader. He says the state has not had good government in the last four years.

Smith is term-limited out of the House after his current term. He's a real-estate agent who formerly worked as a teacher and wrestling coach.

Smith’s announcement signals he’ll take a different campaign approach than former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Billie Sutton.

Smith says South Dakota voters want transparency.

“They’re crying out for honesty in government, but instead Governor Noem pulls strings to help her family members get special treatment and then denies it,” Smith says. “From failed anti-drug campaigns to bullying a well-respected state employee into retirement, Governor Noem has been too busy cozying up to big out-of-state donors to focus on South Dakota.”

Governor Kristi Noem’s campaign raised $8.5 million in 2021, and she is well known among Republicans across the country. The Noem camp responded to Smith’s announcement by calling him an “extreme liberal.” Noem announced her re-election campaign last November.

Smith says his campaign is an “uphill battle.”

He says he won’t use taxpayer dollars to fight voter-approved constitutional measures.

“If you elect me as governor I will follow the will of the people,” Smith says. “To make recreational marijuana a reality. To keep your taxes low. I do not and will not support a state income tax. This isn’t about me. I will be a governor for all South Dakotans.”

Barry Hulse, of Vermillion, also says he’s running for the Democratic nomination. The primary election is in June.

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