Noem releases new national ad touting record on “protecting girls sports”

The ad comes as Noem is pushing her own “transgender sports bill” through the South Dakota State Legislature.
Governor Kristi Noem's campaign ad getting national attention
Governor Kristi Noem's campaign ad getting national attention
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 9:29 AM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. - South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s campaign has cut a new thirty second campaign ad that is intended to boost her re-election efforts.

However, the ad is not airing exclusively in South Dakota. It is appearing in national television markets, airing across the country.

“In South Dakota only girls play girls’ sports,” the ad says. “Why? Because of Governor Kristi Noem’s leadership. Noem has been protecting girls’ sports for years… and never backed down.”

It includes video of Noem at different points over the last year, at a press conference following her veto of a transgender sports bill during the 2021 session, and during a contentious interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson on the topic of the decision to veto the bill.

Noem’s Republican primary opponent, Representative Steve Haugaard (R-Sioux Falls) says Noem already had the chance to “protext girls’ sports” last session.

“To say that the Governor is a leader in this movement is not correct,” Haugaard said. “She had an opportunity to allow the bill to become law last year, or sign it and let it become law. She did neither of those things. In fact, she vetoed the bill.”

The “transgender sports bill” that Noem is sponsoring this year has gained the endorsement of a number of conservative organizations, including the Alliance Defending Freedom and the American Principles Project.

“Governor Noem has always led from the front on this issue,” Noem’s campaign manager Joe Desilets said in a release announcing the ad buy. “Years ago, she protected girls’ rodeo competition in South Dakota. This bill is very straightforward and is a proactive approach to a problem that many states are facing. We look forward to the South Dakota legislature joining Governor Noem in leading on this issue by sending the bill to the Governor to sign into law this legislative session.”

“Running a national ad about a bill that you are attempting to pass in the state of South Dakota? This was a bad bill last year, it is a bad bill this year,” said State Rep. Jamie Smith (D-Sioux Falls). “This is a marginalized group of people, and now you are running a national ad on it and using it for political gain? I do not understand that.”

The ad is not the first time that Noem has made ad buys in national or out of state markets. According to Facebook’s Ad Library, Noem’s campaign has bought a number of Facebook ads that are appearing primary outside of South Dakota, in state’s such as Texas, Ohio, and Florida.

“The point is to protect the people in the state of South Dakota. We do not need to be messaging out to the rest of the world,” Haugaard said. “We can simply do what we need to do for the people of South Dakota. If the governor is looking for a national role, she should just announce it and pursue that.”

Noem’s transgender sports bill is not the only one currently scheduled to be considered to be heard by the legislature. State House members have brought their own bill, which they argue is stronger than the Governor’s proposal. Sponsors of the House bill argue that in part, Noem’s bill would allow people with birth certificates changed after their birth to compete in the sport on the changed birth certiciate.

Noem’s bill will get it’s first hearing in Senate State Affairs Friday morning at 10 AM. The House counterpart has yet to get an initial hearing date.

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