Kristi Lynn Noem is an American politician serving as the 33rd and current governor of South Dakota. She was the U.S. Representative for South Dakota’s at-large congressional district from 2011 to 2019 and a member of the South Dakota House of Representatives for the 6th district from 2007 to 2011. Noem was elected governor in 2018 and is South Dakota’s first female governor.
About Kristi Noem in brief
Kristi Lynn Noem is an American politician serving as the 33rd and current governor of South Dakota. She was the U.S. Representative for South Dakota’s at-large congressional district from 2011 to 2019 and a member of the South Dakota House of Representatives for the 6th district from 2007 to 2011. Noem was elected governor in 2018 and is South Dakota’s first female governor. During the COVID-19 pandemic in South Dakota, Noem took a hands-off approach. She did not implement face mask mandates, frequently raised doubts about the efficacy of mask-wearing, and encouraged large gatherings without social distancing. As of December 2020, she was one of few governors who had not issued statewide stay-at-home orders or face-mask mandates. She earned a B. A. in political science from South Dakota State University in 2012. She married Bryon Noem at age 20 and they have three children. She has Norwegian ancestry and is married to former South Dakota Gov. Rick Forbrig. She is the daughter of Ron and Corinne Arnold and is the granddaughter of former Gov. Bob Noem. She lives in Watertown, South Dakota with her husband, Bryon, and their two children. Her husband and three children were all born in the 1970s and 1980s, and she has two step-children and one step-great-grandchild. In 2009 and 2010 she sponsored bills to lower the age of compulsory education to 16, after it had been raised to 18 in 2008, arguing that requiring school attendance until age 18 has not been proven to improve graduation rates.
In 2006, she won a seat in the S. DakotaHouse of Representatives representing the6th District with 39% of the vote. In 2008, shewas reelected to a second term with 41%. Noem served for four years, from 2007-2010; she was an Assistant Majority Leader during her last year. In 2010, she defeated incumbent Democratic U. S. Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, 48% to 46%. She was re- elected to a fourth term, defeating Democrat Paula Hawks, 64–36%. She and Tim Scott were elected to represent South Dakota in Congress by acclamation by South Carolina in 2011. In 2012, she became the fourth woman to represent the state in Congress. In 2013, she and Scott were re-elected by acclimation by South South Carolina by a margin of 64–33%. In 2014, she lost her re-election bid to Democrat Corinna Robinson, 67% to 67%. In 2016, she beat Democrat Matthew Varilek, 57%–43% to a third term, and in 2018, she was re-elected to a fifth term, winning with a plurality of 42% of the vote against South Dakota Secretary of State Chris Nelson and State Representative Blake Curd. In 2015, she ran for a sixth term and won with a majority of 42%. In the 2016 election cycle, she received 84% of her political action committees from individual donors.