South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem endorsed former President Donald Trump for a second term on Friday.
Noem, a supporter of the former president, endorsed Trump while introducing him at a rally held by the state Republican Party in Rapid City, South Dakota. The governor pledged her support of the former president and said she would help Trump “win and save this country.”
“This is real America. South Dakota is the example that you should share with the rest of the country. You made America great again once, let’s do it again,” Noem said in her speech. “It is my honor to present to you the Man in the arena. He is a man of significance. He is the leader, the fighter that our country needs. He has my full and complete endorsement for president of the United States of America. I will do everything I can to help him win and save this country.”
Speculation is building that Noem’s endorsement paired with the raising of her national profile in recent weeks are positioning her to be at the top of Trump’s list for running mate picks. The governor has had a $5 million ad blitz, which played during the first GOP primary debate on Aug. 23, and has been making regular media appearances on Fox News commending the former president.
Noem told the outlet in mid-August that if Trump asked her to be his vice president, “of course, I would consider it.”
“She’s played her cards right,” Dave Carney, a veteran Republican strategist in New Hampshire, told Politico. “She’s articulate. She has a lot of energy, and she might make an attractive ticket for the president.”
Ian Fury, a spokesperson for Noem, told the Daily Caller News Foundation the governor “would absolutely have to consider it” if Trump asked her to be his running mate.
“The governor has been very clear she has not yet spoken with the President about the potential of him asking her, he has not asked her,” said Fury. “Given the position that our country is in right now, anyone should consider finding whatever way that they can to step up and put America back on its foundation.”
Prior to her 2018 gubernatorial election, Noem served in the South Dakota Legislature and went on to secure a U.S. House seat, which she held until she became governor, according to Balltopedia. Noem won her first term by 3.4 points, and then secured reelection in 2022 by nearly 30 points.
The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average for a 2024 national Republican primary, based on polls conducted between Aug. 24 and Sept. 4, indicates Trump is leading the crowded field with 53.6%, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 14.9%, conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy at 6.8%, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley at 6.1% and former Vice President Mike Pence at 4.9%. All other GOP hopefuls garnered less than 3% support.
“I want to thank one of the most successful governors in the entire nation, an incredible person — South Dakota’s own Kristi Noem, thank you Kristi,” Trump said after the governor introduced him. “Kristi, I’m truly honored to receive your endorsement very much so, I appreciate it.”
Mary Lou Masters on September 8, 2023