Noem, Johnson Win Big In Primary Elections

Jun 6, 2018

Representative Kristi Noem, now Republican candidate for governor
Credit Lee Strubinger / SDPB

South Dakota Republicans are choosing U.S. Representative Kristi Noem as their candidate for the governor.

Noem edged out Attorney General Marty Jackley in Tuesday’s primary.

Congresswoman Kristi Noem beat the attorney general by over 12,000 votes. Polls indicated the race for governor would be close. The unofficial election night results ended up wider than anticipated by some.

During a watch-party at the Hilton Garden Inn in Sioux Falls, Noem says she’s overwhelmed by the trust voters put in her.

“We ran a factual campaign and there were differences between the candidates,” Noem says. “We’re focused on uniting the party on our values and principles that we all agree on. That’s why I talked about those four pillars of lower taxes, smaller government, transparency and fighting federal government intrusion, because that’s something that Republicans really do believe in. That’s the foundation of what all of my policy proposals were based on. That’s what we’ll continue to talk about.”

Noem declined to name her running mate, but says a lieutenant governor announcement is coming soon.

Noem’s opponent, Marty Jackley was unavailable for comment on election night, but he tells the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that his team ran a campaign they were proud of.

Thirty-eight percent of eligible registered republican voters cast their ballot in the primary election.

Noem will face Democratic State Senator Billie Sutton in the general election in November.

GOP House Race

Dusty Johnson, the former chief-of-staff to governor Dennis Daugaard, is the Republican nominee for South Dakota’s lone US House seat.

Johnson edged out his opponents, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs and State Senator Neal Tapio, by a wide margin.

Dusty Johnson clinched the nomination with 47 percent of Republican’s voting in his favor.

Secretary Krebs and State Senator Tapio split the remainder of the electorate.

Johnson will square off against former judge of the First Judicial Court for South Dakota, Tim Bjorkman.

Johnson says he looks forward to debating his democratic opponent for the general election…

“I like policy, because I understand that’s what it takes to improve the condition of this country,” Johnson says. “The private sector can do a lot of those things. Government can get in the way and so we need to have better policy if we want to continue to have economic growth and an imporoved national condition. So, the fact that Tim and I are going to be talking about policies I think is going to be different than what you seen in many general elections where it’s all character attacks and people throwing bumper sticker slogans back and forth.”

Johnson says his campaign will continue a positive message going into the general election.

In a statement on election night, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs says the primary results were not what her campaign had hoped for and thanked her supporters.

State Senator Neal Tapio did not issue a statement.