The race is on to succeed Dennis Daugaard as the 33rd Governor of South Dakota. Three major candidates have filed: Republican Congresswoman Kristi Noem, Republican Attorney General Marty Jackley, and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Billie Sutton.
- Noem would be the 1st woman to serve as Governor of South Dakota. Her husband, Bryon, would the state’s 1st “first gentleman.”
- Noem would be the 1st woman to be the Republican nominee for governor of South Dakota. She is the 4th woman to seek the Republican nomination for governor, and would be the 2nd to win a major party’s nomination if she prevails in the primary. Read more about the history of women running for Governor of South Dakota at this post.
- Noem would be the 1st South Dakotan to serve in either house of Congress and to subsequently serve as governor. She is the 3rd candidate for governor to have served in Congress, following Freeman T. Knowles, who served one term in the U.S. House as a Populist from 1897-99 and later ran for governor as a Socialist in 1904 and 1906; and Clint Roberts, who served one term in the U.S. House from 1981-83 and ran for the Republican nomination for governor in 1986, narrowly losing to George S. Mickelson. No current or former U.S. Senator has ever run for Governor of South Dakota.
- Noem would be the 2nd native of Hamlin County to be governor, following Warren E. Green, who served from 1931-33. Both Green’s farm and Noem’s family farming operation are near Hazel. In addition to Noem and Green, the only other Hamlin County resident to run for governor is H. H. Curtis, who was the Prohibition Party nominee in 1902.
- Noem would be the 1st governor to be born in Codington County – she was born in Watertown – and the 15th to be born in South Dakota. She would also be the 1st governor to be born in the month of November, which is the only month in which no governor has been born.
- Noem would be the 2nd “Jackrabbit” governor, joining Mike Rounds as a graduate of South Dakota State University. Noem attended Northern State University prior to her father’s death in a farming accident. No NSU graduate has ever served as governor, but Noem would join Ralph Herseth as the 2nd governor to have attended Northern.
- Noem would be the 23rd governor to have served in a territorial or state legislature, and the 9th to have served in the SD State House of Representatives.
- If she prevails, Noem’s election would continue the streak of Republican control of the South Dakota governor’s office that began in 1979. This period of control – 40 years as of the end of the Daugaard administration – is the longest in South Dakota history, and the longest current streak in the nation. It would be the 11th straight election victory by the Republican candidate for governor – the only longer streak is 13 straight elections from 1900 to 1924 (during the two-year term era).