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Noem not ruling out a run for president

Noem-vs-Smith-Graphic
Joshua Haiar
/
SDPB
Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, left, and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jamie Smith.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said on a national political podcast that she is not ruling out a run for president in 2024.

The Republican governor is up for re-election in South Dakota this year.

Noem was in Washington, D.C., this week for a Heritage Foundation speech and book signing.

Noem is also running digital ads in three states besides South Dakota: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Those states are among the first for early primaries in presidential elections.

Noem’s actions have raised the specter of a bid for national office.

During an appearance on a CBS News podcast with Major Garrett, Noem responded to a question about her presidential ambitions.

“I would just say that I’m focused on South Dakota," Noem said. "That’s my priority. From there we will see where people choose to ..."

“You don’t rule it out?” Garrett interjected.

“I don’t rule it out. Just because people bring it up quite often," Noem said.

“Right. And you’re doing things consistent with trying to build a national profile,” Garrett said.

“And there’s several people that are out there talking about running for president. I’m not convinced it has to be me," Noem responded. "But I do think we have to have good people who are willing to step up and serve.”

Noem said if former President Donald Trump runs for president, she would support him instead of running herself.

Meanwhile, her Democratic challenger for governor has ramped up his campaign with its first TV commercial.

Jamie Smith says in an interview with SDPB that Noem’s ambitions are beyond South Dakota.

“So much so that I believe we need to have a governor that focuses on the state of South Dakota and that’s exactly what I will do,” Smith said. “She quit focusing on South Dakota a long time ago.”

Libertarian Tracey Quint is also running for governor. The election is Nov. 8.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.