Don’t expect a presidential run from Kristi Noem while Donald Trump is in the race.
The second-term Republican governor said as much Monday morning when asked during an interview with a Watertown radio station if the Dakotas might send two candidates to compete in the 2024 presidential election.
“President Trump is in the race and right now I don’t see a path for victory with anybody else with him in the race and the situation as it sits today,” Noem said when asked by KWAT News if she’d be endorsing North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who threw his hat into the race earlier this month.
Since becoming a household name in conservative circles across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been broad speculation about a potential presidential run from Noem. An ally of Trump, Noem has stayed out of the contest while others, like Burgum and Florida Gov. Ron Desantis, have decided to wage campaigns in hopes of earning the GOP nomination. However, Trump remains the frontrunner, enjoying the broadest level of support among likely voters in the Republican Party, according to numerous polls.
“I, right now, am still focused on South Dakota,” Noem said during the radio interview, adding that Burgum is “a great guy” who could perform well in early primary states.
“He might do well down in Iowa. Iowa is a farmer state, and he’s investing a ton of money into this race,” Noem said.
GOP presidential field is crowded
Other declared GOP candidates running in the increasingly crowded field include former Vice President Mike Pence, South Carolina U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, California conservative media personality Larry Elders and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. Former Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Nikki Haley of South Carolina are also gunning to knock off Trump as the favorite.
Noem speculated that the eventual Republican presidential nominee might right now be an unknown. And she left the window open for the possibility of her own run.
“People should saddle up. It can be a roller coaster of a presidential race. I think it could be unprecedented in what we’ll see for developments,” she said. “The person that may win may not even be in the race yet.”