PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) – Today, the Kristi for Governor campaign accepted an invitation to a gubernatorial debate co-hosted by Dakota News Now and KOTA/KEVN. The debate will take place in Rapid City on September 30, shortly after the opening of early absentee voting. Governor Noem sent a letter to Representative Jamie Smith announcing that she accepted the debate invitation and challenging him to do the same.
“Now that I have accepted the invitation, I challenge you to do the same and await your answer,” Governor Noem wrote in the letter to Representative Smith. “Voters deserve the opportunity to hear from the two of us on a wide variety of issues, especially those on which we do not see eye-to-eye. I look forward to a spirited, fact-driven conversation, and I trust that you hope for the same.”
The debate co-hosted by Dakota News Now and KOTA/KEVN will be the first and final debate that Governor Noem participates in this election cycle.
Smith immediately told The Associated Press he would participate and criticized Noem for not participating in more face-to-face exchanges. Noem is running for reelection after a first term that vaulted her into national prominence among Republicans for her mostly hands-off approach to COVID-19 restrictions. Smith is trying to challenge her for seeming to have political ambitions beyond South Dakota.
Libertarian candidate Tracey Quint said, “I am honored and thrilled to be participating in this debate. South Dakotans deserve to hear from and get to know all of the candidates and I can’t wait to introduce myself and the Libertarian Party to the voters of South Dakota. I look forward to a professional and civil debate.”