HURON, SD – Governor Kristi Noem was back on the campaign trail and in good spirits, making several stops on Thursday, September 1, the first day of the
in Huron. The incumbent wooed the hearts of her base with events focused on agriculture, veterans and workforce development, as well as a meet and greet at the Republican Party booth.
“The governor had a fantastic day celebrating so many things that make South Dakota special,” campaign communications director Ian Fury told Forum News Service. “People were supportive and encouraging, and she always loves the opportunity to enjoy our state’s sport.”
The all-positive reception as Noem made his carnival tour offered the campaign a reset ahead of Labor Day weekend and the unofficial start of the final gubernatorial campaign sprint. Her visit to Huron contrasted with a stop in Sioux Falls earlier in the week, where a short interaction with two constituents saw Noem challenged over her stance on abortion rights.
“I didn’t want to confront her with the event. I had questions and concerns that I wanted to speak to the Governor about, and I wasn’t there to put on a show or anything,” said Leah Bothamley, one of two women who interacted with Noem before. to leave the event, to Forum News Service. . “Politics aside, it’s a matter of human morality. It’s being turned into politics, and that’s what I’m against.
of the interaction posted on social media made the rounds on left-leaning media such as
Noem started his day at the South Dakota Farm and Ranch Recognition Program Fair, an event hosted by the South Dakota Farm Bureau honoring farmers and ranchers whose families have retained ownership of their land for 100, 125 uninterrupted periods of time. and 150 years.
“Like my dad always used to say, ‘Never sell land, for God doesn’t do any more,'” Noem said as part of his brief speech at the start of the crowded event, using a of his popular refrains which made its way into his book and often accompanies his father’s stories.
After the speech, Noem and Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden congratulated the recipients and posed for photos.
The next leg of the itinerary was a stop at the Honoring Veterans event, which served primarily as an opportunity to raise awareness of the
a non-profit organization that transports veterans who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, to Washington, D.C.
The stage was set up right next to several food vendors and the smell of grilled corn wafted through the crowd.
Noem’s talk encouraged the mostly elderly attendees to pass on their lessons of service to the next generation. She also pointed out that she served two major roles in her veterans office, as Rhoden and Veterans Affairs Secretary Greg Whitlock served in the state National Guard.
After meeting at the Republican Party tent, where she was joined by her husband, Bryon, Noem left the fairgrounds to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Huron High School, which unveiled a new center for vocational and technical education, which will allow students to gain experience in trades such as construction.
Noem’s speech at the center’s grand opening focused on his administration’s efforts in workforce development, particularly training skilled workers in South Dakota. The $2.6 million project in Huron included $1.8 million in federal funds and $225,000 from state workforce education.
“We’re really trying to make kids aware of different opportunities outside of four-year college,” Jolene Konechne, director of career and technical education for the Huron School District, told Forum News Service.
Noem ended the evening at the fairground’s Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash rodeo. She will face Democratic challenger Jamie Smith, a representative from Sioux Falls, in the November 8 gubernatorial election.
Jason Harvard is a
Corps reporter who writes about state politics in South Dakota. Contact him at