GOP Powerhouse Kristi Noem Rakes In the Big Bucks in Massive Fundraiser Ahead Re-Election Announcement: ‘I Was Humbled…’

By Sebastian Hughes

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota disclosed massive fundraising numbers on Friday alongside announcing her re-election campaign for 2022.

Noem raised over $10 million since her last election in 2018, with $6.5 million on hand, according to the announcement. “I was humbled and honored three years ago when the people of South Dakota put their trust in me to lead our state as governor,” the governor said in a statement.

“Together, we’re setting an example for the nation,” Noem said in a YouTube video. “And we’ll ensure the next generation of South Dakotans can grow up happy and free.”

Noem became a household conservative name for her state’s comparatively minimal COVID-19 restrictions, arguing South Dakotans “can be trusted to make good decisions.” She later lambasted Republican governors locking down their states, though she did support some restrictive measures at the beginning of the pandemic.

READ MORE: Kristi Noem: 1619 Project ‘Has No Place in South Dakota’

Seen as a potential 2024 contender, Noem placed third on a CPAC straw poll among other potential Republican candidates, earning 11% of the vote, behind former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Since then, she’s received criticism from the right for vetoing a law that would ban transgender girls from competing in women’s sports and drawn scrutiny for summoning an agency head to her office after her daughter was denied a certification.

More recently Noem presented a compelling case against a directive from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) directed at private businesses regarding a vaccine and other mandates.

In an appearance on Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Noem suggested that the Constitution makes it clear that states, not the federal government, have primary authority over such issues.

CNS News reported:

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Thursday that President Joe Biden doesn’t have the authority to force people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk losing their job, and he doesn’t have the authority to compel weekly testing for COVID.

That’s up to the states and people, she said, which is why she and other Republican governors are suing the Biden administration now that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an “emergency temporary standard” Thursday compelling private sector companies to do just that.

“Here’s the fact is that Joe Biden doesn’t have the authority to do this. It’s unconstitutional for him to come in and put these mandates in place so whether it’s mandating for a vaccine or for testing, this isn’t his role,” she said.

“That specifically was left to the states and to people in protecting their personal freedoms and making sure they have the opportunity to make the best decisions for themselves,” Noem told Hannity.

Daily Caller News Foundation contributed to this report.