South Dakota's Keloland News reported Friday that Kristi Noem has had 20 speeding tickets, three stop-sign violations, two seat-belt violations and a citation for driving with no driver's license. She has also been issued six court notices for failure to appear and two arrest warrants.
Herseth Sandlin's immediate predecessor — former Rep. Bill Janklow (R) — was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter for killing a motorcyclist while speeding. Janklow, a former governor, eventually resigned his seat in 2004. Herseth Sandlin was elected that summer in a special election, and is serving her fourth term in Congress.
She won in 2008 with nearly 68 percent of the vote, even as South Dakota's electoral votes in the presidential contest went to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Noem said she is "not proud" of her driving record and is working to improve herself.
"Obviously, I'm not proud of my driving
record but I been working hard to be a better example to young kids and
young drivers out there," Noem told Keoland News.
The GOP candidate said she has been truthful about her driving record and predicted it would not become a campaign issue.
"Absolutely, when you enter a race like this you just know your life is gong to be an open book especially with these public records like that too. We've got so many issues to talk about with South Dakota voters that they care about," she said. "I just feel disheartened we're spending time talking about my poor driving record when we could be talking about the economy and jobs."
The warrants were issued when she failed to pay fines on two occasions. Noem said that she has now paid all of her fines. Herseth Sandlin was found to have one speeding violation in 1999, and paid a $73 fine.
Earlier this year in her most recent incident, Noem was pulled over for going 94 mph on a highway.
Herseth Sandlin, in a statement to Keoland News, said that elected officials have to be "accountable" and "respect the laws that are made for all of us citizens."