‘Everybody Assumes She’s Running’: VP Speculation Mounts As South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem Plans Trump Endorsement

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Speculation is mounting that South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem could be a top contender for former President Donald Trump’s running mate in 2024 as she prepares to endorse him, Politico reported Friday.

Noem is headlining a Republican fundraiser in Rapid City, South Dakota, where the governor is expected to endorse Trump as she presents him to her state, a source familiar with the plans told Politico. The governor has been increasing her national profile with a $5 million ad buy and regular media appearances despite opting not to run for president herself, and several Republican operatives told the outlet she’s positioning herself well to be Trump’s vice presidential pick.

“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.” (RELATED: Trump’s Most Likely VP Picks, Ranked)

Noem’s ad was also broadcast during the first GOP primary debate on Aug. 23. During a Fox News appearance in mid-August, Noem said “of course, I would consider it” if the former president pitched her such a position.

“The fact is, none of them can win as long as Trump’s in the race,” Noem told Fox News regarding the crowded Republican presidential field. “And that’s just the facts. So why run if you can’t win.”

Ian Fury, a spokesperson for Noem, hinted at a potential endorsement Friday evening, and 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.”

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 16: (L-R) Governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a meeting about the Governors Initiative on Regulatory Innovation in the Cabinet Room of the White House. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A South Dakota donor of Noem’s, granted anonymity to speak candidly about the governor’s strategy, told Politico that “everybody assumes she’s running.”

“It’s clear that she’s positioning herself to get to be selected as vice president or, in the alternative, if something happens where President Trump starts to falter, or doesn’t receive the nomination, to run for president to pick up the MAGA flag and carry the banner,” a donor of Noem’s based in South Dakota, granted anonymity to discuss the governor’s potential candidly, told Politico.

“It’s very obvious. Not a week goes by where she’s not on Fox News. It’s a national strategy.”

The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average for a 2024 national Republican primary, based on polls conducted between Aug. 24 and Sept. 4, indicates the former president is leading the crowded field by nearly 40 points, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with 14.9%, conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy with 6.8%, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley with 6.1% and former Vice President Mike Pence with 4.9%. All other GOP hopefuls garnered less than 3% support.

Noem was first elected South Dakota’s governor in 2018, and overwhelmingly secured reelection last year by nearly 30 points, according to Ballotpedia. Before her time as the executive, she previously served in Congress and in the state legislature.

Trump did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

This article has been updated with comment from a spokesperson for Gov. Kristi Noem.

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