Republican Noem wins South Dakota governor race

Republican Noem wins South Dakota governor race
© Greg Nash

Rep. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemGovernors helping governors South Dakota New Members 2019 The Hill's Morning Report — Split decision: Dems take House, GOP retains Senate majority MORE (R-S.D.) defeated South Dakota Senate Minority Leader Billie Sutton (D) in the Mount Rushmore State’s tighter-than-expected gubernatorial race Tuesday.

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South Dakota hasn’t elected a Democrat for governor since 1979 and registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats in the state by nearly 100,000 in a state with a population under one million, according to the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republicans move to block Yemen war-powers votes for rest of Congress Trump says he's considering 10 to 12 contenders for chief of staff Michael Flynn asks judge to spare him from jail time MORE won the state in 2016 by about 30 points and he endorsed Noem in September.

The race became a slugfest in the final weeks of the campaign, with both candidates airing negative ads on their opponents. Noem linked Sutton to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRoger Stone challenges Dems to produce WikiLeaks evidence Steve King asks Google CEO for names of employees to see if they're liberals O'Rourke edges out Biden in MoveOn straw poll MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersCoal supporter Manchin named top Dem on Senate Energy Committee Gillum to speak at gathering of top Dem donors: report O'Rourke edges out Biden in MoveOn straw poll MORE (I-Vt.) and Sutton slammed Noem as a career politician.

However, the race to replace term limited Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard was projected to be close, with The Cook Political Report rating the race as a “toss up.”