Kristi Noem wins GOP nomination for South Dakota's governor race

Published: Jun. 5, 2018 at 10:39 PM CDT
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Kristi Noem will be the republican candidate in the race for South Dakota governor. Noem beat her challenger, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, in Tuesday’s primary election.

Noem said she's thankful for the voters who showed up to the polls Tuesday, and she's ready to use her experience from Washington D.C. to help at the state level.

"Since I've been a representative in Washington, we've been able to fight back several policies that did not work for the state of South Dakota," Noem said. "It's incredibly important that we have a governor that knows how to do that successfully because we find with the bureaucracy of a federal government that from time to time, we're just going to face that challenge."

The Associated Press named Noem the winner just after 10:30 p.m. She held a roughly 16-percentage point lead over Jackley most of the night.

Jackley said he has become a stronger person because of the campaign he ran the past several months.

"Overall, we have a great state. I love our state. I learned a lot. I wouldn't do it any differently," Jackley said. "People said, 'What would you do differently?' Nothing. We ran the type of campaign that we believed in."

Noem’s next opponent will be Billie Sutton, who was unopposed for the democratic nomination.

He said he's ready to address accountability in government which he believes is the biggest issue right now in South Dakota. The state senator believes the next governor needs to have shared values like honesty, integrity and hard work.

"I'm looking forward to this race because a Washington insider isn't going to be the one that bucks the status quo and bucks the establishment," Sutton said. "We need somebody who is going to take that head on, and I'm the candidate that can do that. I have a record of doing it in the legislature."

The general election takes place on November 6.

Noem has served as South Dakota’s lone Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2011.