As race tightens, Noem, Varilek make final push to get out the v - KOTA Territory News

As race tightens, Noem, Varilek make final push to get out the vote


Both candidates for South Dakota's lone House seat spent the lead up to Tuesday's election touring the state and talking to voters.

Republican Kristi Noem spent the day in KOTA Territory, and Democrat Matt Varilek was on the eastern side of the state.

Noem made a couple stops Tuesday morning in Rapid City, thanking her volunteers and even making a few calls herself.

Varilek spent the day East River, stopping at coffee shops in places like Madison and Mitchell before moving on to Sioux Falls.

The race is close, and both candidates are confident they'll pull out a win.

Each claims to have taken the high road this election season.
"Our ads are not negative ads, they're contrast ads," Noem said in an interview Tuesday morning, after greeting volunteers manning phones in Rapid City. "[Varilek's] ads throughout the campaign have been very negative, and we've tried to stay above that."
"There have been a lot of tough ads on both sides," Varilek told our sister station KSFY as he visited coffee shops, "but I figured folks could use a break here in the end."
So he proposed a cease-fire in the final debate a couple days ago.
"I made the decision to just go positive regardless," he said. "If you're watching, you'll probably see my opponent has apparently made her decision, too, and continues to run those negative ads."

The race has been closer than many expected (a recent poll puts challenger Varilek within six points of incumbent Noem), but Noem remains resolute in her belief she'll win a second term at the polls.
"I think South Dakota will recognize that I'm really working to make sure we're dealing with the challenges that we have," she said.
Noem said she's worked hard in Washington to cut spending, while keeping the interests of the Black Hills at the forefront.

But Varilek is quick to criticize her first two years on the job.
"I think it's important to discuss job performance issues," he said, "and so to the extent that we've said anything critical, it's been about showing up to committees."
He added he's ready to get his hands dirty if elected.
"It's been a theme in the campaign," said Varilek. "Knowing that my opponent was going to outspend me, I knew that I'd have to out work her."

But Noem's not ready to let go of the reins.
"We're going to continue to work on things that we've been championing in the last two years."

Both candidates will be in Sioux Falls on election day to watch the results roll in.

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