Republican Noem wins South Dakota governor race

Republican Noem wins South Dakota governor race
© Greg Nash

Rep. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemTrump touts 'BIG FIREWORKS' returning to Mt. Rushmore for July 4 American Indian tribe bans GOP governor from reservation over opposition to Keystone protestors New governors chart ambitious paths in first 100 days 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 TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' 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 ClintonDe Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' From dive bars to steakhouses: How Iowa caucus staffers blow off steam Warren policy ideas show signs of paying off MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg defends appearing on Fox News: Many Americans don't hear Dems' message Buttigieg: The future 'is personal' for me Donald Trump, president for life? We need term limits now 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.”