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Noem endorses Trump for president in Rapid City

Former President Donald Trump and Gov. Kristi Noem embrace after Noem gives Trump endorsement for president
Former President Donald Trump and Gov. Kristi Noem embrace after Noem gives Trump endorsement for president

Gov. Kristi Noem is endorsing former president Donald Trump for president of the United States.

Noem made the announcement Friday during a Trump Rally in Rapid City.

Noem’s backing was delivered in front of a sold-out crowd of 6,500.

“He is a man of significance. He is the leader, the fighter, that our country needs. He has my full and complete endorsement for President of the United States of America," Noem said. "I will do everything in my power to help him win to save this great country.”

The endorsement shifts speculation about the term-limited Republican governor from a potential bid for president to whether she’s vying for vice president. At one point a “Trump-Noem 2024” billboard appeared on the Ice Arena’s big screen.

Lee Strubinger

The sign flashed briefly as the two embraced on stage.

This was Trump’s third visit to South Dakota in five years.

During his nearly two-hour long speech, Trump lamented the numerous felony charges he’s facing in state and federal courts for failed attempts to overturn the 2020 election, mishandling classified documents and falsifying business documents.

“But we’re going to ask for dismissals of a lot it. Most of it, you ask for dismissal. Dismiss the charges. Remember, it’s a Democrat charging his opponent. Nobody’s ever seen anything like it.”

The event was billed as a celebration of the state’s Republican leaders. The list of speakers even included Montana Senator Steve Daines spoke. State Republican Party Chair John Wiik spoke of unity in the party.

"We are much stronger when we stand together than when we stand apart. This is not a new challenge," Wiik said. "We've faced big tests before. We have proved ourselves as a nation that we can come together and win."

However, the crowd booed when images of US Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds, as well as Congressman Dusty Johnson appeared on screen between speeches. None were in attendance.

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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