South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is heading to New Hampshire next month to raise money for the state Republican Party, a trip stoking speculation that she is beginning to make preparations to run for president in 2024.
New Hampshire typically hosts the second contest on the GOP presidential nominating calendar and the first traditional primary. Noem, 48, is headed there next month to headline an evening reception at a Nashua country club for the New Hampshire Republican Party, with tickets running as low as $35 and as high as $5,000.
“Gov. Noem has been visiting all sorts of swing states for President Trump,” her spokesman, Ian Fury, said Thursday, dismissing suggestions that Noem has ulterior motives for visiting New Hampshire. “She’s one of most sought after surrogates for his campaign, and she’s putting the work in to make sure he gets reelected.”
Indeed, on Thursday, Noem was in Michigan, with trips to Florida and neighboring Minnesota on tap. Noem has previously campaigned for Trump in Georgia; Iowa, another key state in GOP presidential primaries; Ohio; North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. In mid-October, the governor travels to New Hampshire.
Fury described the state as simply another 2020 battleground, like others Noem has visited, where the president is in a close contest with Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Nevertheless, some Republicans, who offered their views anonymously, see a link between her appearance in the Granite State and the 2024 primary.
Noem’s political star is on the rise with grassroots Republicans, who are applauding her defiant leadership amid the coronavirus. While other governors, conservative Republicans among them, implemented economic lockdowns and mandated the wearing of protective facemasks to mitigate the pandemic, Noem implemented a “freedom first” approach to COVID-19 in South Dakota.
Noem was elected South Dakota’s first female governor in 2018 after spending eight years in Congress as the state’s lone member of the House. Presiding over a largely rural state with around 885,000 residents, Noem did not have the same pressures to manage coronavirus outbreaks as do governors of states that are more populous and include crowded, urban centers.
But her resistance to stringent coronavirus regulations was appreciated on the Right and turned her into a Republican celebrity. In July, she hosted Trump in South Dakota at Mount Rushmore for his speech defending American history against criticism from the Left. In August, the governor delivered a keynote at the Republican convention. Meanwhile, she has been traveling to swing states to stump for the president.
Author: David M. Drucker
Source: Washington Examiner: Kristi Noem trip to New Hampshire fuels talk of 2024 bid