SIOUX FALLS, SD ( Associated Press) — South Dakota’s Gov. Kristi Noem has garnered national prominence in popularity with Republicans for its hands-off approach to pandemic restrictions, But that hasn’t left him untouched by criticism – and a primary challenger – from the right side in a reliably conservative state.
Noem will try to show her strength with Republican voters in Tuesday’s primary against State Representative Steve Haggard.A former Rajya Sabha Speaker who has accused Noem of Using the governor’s office to bid for the 2024 White House.
Noem has used this election fundraising cycle to collect a record amount for the South Dakota gubernatorial candidate — bringing in more than $15 million from a series of fundraisers across the country.
The first-time governor will be hoping for a major primary victory before going into the general election contest against Democratic State Rep. Jamie Smith.who did not face the primary challenge.
2 Republican in the chamber, US Sen. John Thune is facing two primary challengers, who joined the race after Thune’s fury. of former President Donald Trump. Trump speculated that the senator’s career was “over” after making a public statement dismissing the former president’s lies about widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
One candidate, Mark Mowry, was among the crowd demonstrating near the US Capitol on January 6. The other opponent, Bruce Whelan, ran for Congress in 2006, but lost the general election in a landslide.
None of the challengers are well-funded or well-known in the state, and in a sign that Thune may be positioned to win, Trump has steered clear of South Dakota.
Thune is a longtime fixture as the state GOP’s elder statesman, and if he wins re-election for a fourth term, he is likely to succeed Mitch McConnell as Senate Republican leader.
Republican US Representative Dusty Johnson faces primary challenge from state lawmaker Taffy Howard For the only house spot in the state. The $300,000 raised by his campaign has been reduced by Johnson’s $1.8 million.
The Congressman has taken a measured approach to most issues and deferred his work with a bipartisan group of lawmakers called the Problem Solving Caucus. Howard tried to challenge him from the right, creating a primary race that would show just how strong the more extreme wing of the Republican Party has become in South Dakota.
That intrapartisan conflict has been fought in a slate of legislative primary races where Republicans have launched assault ads against each other. Anti-establishment Republicans are trying to oust a group of lawmakers who have given more authority to the legislature.
Primary voters will also decide on amendments to the state’s constitution, proposed by Republican lawmakers, that would make it more difficult to pass ballot initiatives that raise taxes or spend public money. The proposal would set a 60% vote limit on ballot measures to raise taxes or spend more than $10 million within five years of enactment.