South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) formally announced her 2022 reelection bid Friday afternoon.
Noem announced her run via a campaign video posted to YouTube.
“Together we’re setting an example for the nation,” Noem said. “And we’ll ensure that the next generation of South Dakotans can grow up happy and free."
The Republican governor, who is the only person to announce her bid for the South Dakota governorship so far, enters her reelection campaign with over $10 million in her war chest, according to the Argus Leader.
Noem, a staunch conservative and ally of former President TrumpDonald TrumpPence: Supreme Court has chance to right 'historic wrong' with abortion ruling Prosecutor says during trial that actor Jussie Smollett staged 'fake hate crime' Overnight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table MORE, became the first female governor in South Dakota history in 2018. In February, she participated in a fundraiser at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida amid speculation about a potential 2024 presidential bid. Noem was among several members of the GOP including Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisDemocratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills A sad reality: In a season of giving, most will ignore America's poor Walt Disney World pauses vaccine mandate after DeSantis signs new legislation MORE (Fla.) thought to be mulling a campaign for president.
Throughout her time as governor during the pandemic, the South Dakota governor touted her approach to COVID-19. She has firmly opposed to putting restrictions on businesses or issuing a statewide mask mandate during the pandemic.
She attended her state's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August alongside hundreds of thousands of riders and criticized other GOP governors for issuing mask mandates this summer as the delta variant surged in the U.S.
Noem's announcement for reelection comes amid controversy surrounding a meeting at the governor's home with two South Dakota officials and her daughter Kassidy Peters that has raised questions about conflicts of interest. Republican lawmakers asked the two officials to testify about whether that meeting had any bearing on her daughter’s application to become a real estate appraiser.