Noem decides not to challenge Rounds in South Dakota Senate race

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June 14, 2013

South Dakota

By Jennifer Springer

PIERRE, South Dakota: On June 11, 2013 U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem announced her decision not to run for the seat being left vacant by Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson, who is not seeking a fourth term in 2014.[1] Instead, Noem will seek a third term in the U.S. House of Representatives.[1]

“I am grateful to everyone who has encouraged me and pledged support for a potential campaign for the U.S. Senate,” Noem said in a statement. “However, after spending the weekend discussing our future with Bryon and our children, we decided that right now we are in the best position to serve South Dakota as a member of the U.S. House.”[2]

Many speculate that Noem would have been the most formidable primary challenger against former Gov. Mike Rounds.[3] Noem's decision not to run eliminates a hurdle to Rounds's nomination, but outside conservative groups are still actively looking for a potential challenger.[4]

So far, Republican Mike Rounds and Democrat Rick Weiland are the only candidates who have declared in the race.[5] Former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D) and U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson (D) both passed on the race.[2]

Noem did not endorse any specific candidate but said she would work hard to help elect a South Dakota Republican to the Senate.[6]

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