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Candidates for governor ramp up campaign appearances ahead of election

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Lee Strubinger
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SDPB
Hawaii politician Tulsi Gabbard joins Republican Governor Kristi Noem during a campaign stop in Rapid City. State Senator Helene Duhamel (left) moderated the event.

With less than a week before election day the candidates for South Dakota governor are holding stops across the state.

One campaign fighting against the federal government. The other says it’s focus is on running the state.

High profile political figures are joining Republican Governor Kristi Noem as she makes stops in Rapid City and Sioux Falls with Hawaiian former-Democrat Tulsi Gabbard and Virginia Republican Governor Glen Younkin.

Gabbard served with Noem in Congress and joined her at the Holiday inn in Rapid City. She says the governor position is to serve state residents.

“But it’s also really to serve as a check and balance on federal mandates that are being pushed and forced on people all across this country,” Gabbard said in Rapid City.

Governor Noem views her position much the same. She says she’s running against Joe Biden’s tax, energy and border policies.

“He is devastating to South Dakota. In fact, I tell people every day my job has turned into getting up every day and fighting the federal government," Noem said. "Defending the people of this state and making sure that we continue to be free and make our decisions for ourselves and have personal responsibility.”

Noem has outraised and outspent her Democratic opponent Jamie Smith several-fold. She also has a sizable voter-registration advantage.

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contributed
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Democrat governor candidate Jamie Smith campaigning in Vermillion

Despite that, during a stop in Vermillion Smith says he's running to win this election.

“I have no aspirations of being the President of the United States, or Vice President or Ag Secretary,” Smith said. “South Dakota governor would be enough for this guy. And I’d be very satisfied in that position.”

Early voting is underway. Election day is Tuesday, November 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.
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