Kristi Noem promised today that I’d be no worse than the fifth person she tells when she makes a decision on the 2018 governor’s race.
“How about if you’re one of my first five that I call when I’ve decided,” she said. “How’s that sound? I’ll make that commitment to you, all right?”
That’s not bad, when you consider she’s first gotta tell her husband, Bryon, and then her three kids. It’s only fair that they be the first four.
Or, wait, maybe they don’t count as first calls, since they’ll be in on the deciding process. Probably not
And I’m not sure if she really did the math in her head today after a brief news conference in front of Sioux San Hospital, when I changed the subject from Indian Health Service health-care challenges to the 2018 governor’s race. I’ve been pestering the Republican congresswoman quite a bit on that point.
As I’ve said before, I expect Noem to be a candidate in the Republican gubernatorial primary race. I also expect state Rep. Mark Mickelson of Sioux Falls and Attorney General Marty Jackley of Pierre to jump in, which would make for a lively primary. I know Jackley’s running, even though he hasn’t announced if officially. I assume Mickelson is, too, although I’m not nearly as well acquainted with him as I was to his dad.
And, after today, I really expect Noem to announce her candidacy for governor by the end of the year. I figured that before. It makes sense to announce in, say, early December, then get a big influx of donations before the year-end reporting period. Add some of her campaign cash at the federal level (which can flow down to state races, even thought state cash can’t flow up to finance federal campaigns) and she’ll be tough to beat for campaign cash coming out of the blocks.
What she has said about a governor’s race, and what she said today, does nothing do discourage my expectation.
“You haven’t asked that for a while,” Noem said. “You know what, I’m running for reelection for the House. So you know what, I’m going to run hard and win in November, and then we’ll talk about the next race.”
The next race? Now, she could mean the next race for reelection to the House in two years. Or maybe Commissioner of School and Public Lands. But I don’t think so. And it makes sense that she would get the November election behind her, but then make a decision and, I’d expect, an announcement on that “next race,” the one for that nice big office on the second floor of the South Dakota Capitol.
Starting about Dec. 1, I’m going to keep my cell phone charged and ready.