Democratic Leaders Column:
SD Democratic Leaders Respond to Governor’s Speech

SIOUX FALLS, SD (January 9, 2021)

Fellow South Dakotans,

We cannot let the recent comments by Governor Kristi Noem go unchecked. Branding the newly elected Senators from Georgia, the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, as Communists is simply not true. This kind of reckless rhetoric has contributed to the polarization of our country which has led to this week’s violence and loss of life, in the very building in which she used to serve. As our nation tries to heal after this week’s reprehensible attack, her inflammatory statements such as “Meanwhile, the left’s indoctrination takes place every day with kids all across America from the time they walk into school at age 5 to the time they graduate college at 22,” only seek to divide us even further. These types of comments fan the flames of insurrection and hatred in our state and across our nation.

While campaigning to be our Governor, Kristi Noem promised to keep Washington, DC-style politics out of South Dakota. Since her election we have seen the complete opposite. She has been appealing to some peoples’ worst instincts while she has toured the country weighing in on Washington politics. She has followed the lead of the Washington DC trained advisors that her administration has hired and brought this level of politics to our very door. We need our Governor paying attention to the needs of South Dakota, not making baseless accusations about national politicians or making false statements about our educational system. Governor Noem will likely use this statement to rile up a national audience and continue to raise campaign funds, but we couldn’t continue to stand by silently.

The Democratic caucuses in the South Dakota House of Representatives and in the state Senate will continue to work with South Dakotans on South Dakota issues like education, our economy, and the important healthcare issues like addressing a raging pandemic, as we always have. Also, we will never support overturning the will of the voters at the ballot box. We implore Governor Noem to turn her attention away from national politics and her divisive and harmful rhetoric. It’s time to get to work for South Dakota and the people. South Dakota deserves better than DC-style rhetoric and political posturing. 


Rep. Jamie Smith,

Sen. Troy Heinert,