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Noem’s Balancing Act: Big Ambitions, South Dakota Reelection

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Many political watchers expected Gov. Kristi Noem to cruise to reelection this year in Republican-dominated South Dakota against a Democratic challenger without statewide experience. But Noem’s frequent out-of-state travels on behalf of GOP candidates, as well as recent ethics stumbles, have given Democrats license to dream of an upset. Or perhaps make Noem’s race against state lawmaker Jamie Smith close enough to raise questions about her viability on the national stage. Smith has cast himself as a moderate and so far has run a mostly upbeat campaign. The governor recently came out with an ad that tied Smith to President Joe Biden, who won 36% of South Dakota’s vote in 2020.


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