Republican Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota disclosed massive fundraising numbers on Friday alongside announcing her re-election campaign for 2022.
Noem raised over $10 million since her last election in 2018, with $6.5 million on hand, according to the announcement. “I was humbled and honored three years ago when the people of South Dakota put their trust in me to lead our state as governor,” the governor said in a statement.
“Together, we’re setting an example for the nation,” Noem said in a YouTube video. “And we’ll ensure the next generation of South Dakotans can grow up happy and free.”
Noem became a household conservative name for her state’s comparatively minimal COVID-19 restrictions, arguing South Dakotans “can be trusted to make good decisions.” She later lambasted Republican governors locking down their states, though she did support some restrictive measures at the beginning of the pandemic.
Seen as a potential 2024 contender, Noem placed third on a CPAC straw poll among other potential Republican candidates, earning 11% of the vote, behind former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Since then, she’s received criticism from the right for vetoing a law that would ban transgender girls from competing in women’s sports and drawn scrutiny for summoning an agency head to her office after her daughter was denied a certification.
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