South Dakota’s Noem, Thune, Johnson all face primary opponents today

June 7, 2022

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is looking to show her strength with Republican voters in today’s primary.

She, along with U.S. Sen. John Thune and Rep. Dusty Johnson, are looking to fend off challengers running to their right.

Thune is being challenged by Bruce Whalen and Mark Mowry. Johnson’s challenger is State Representative Taffy Howard of Rapid City. Noem’s primary challenger is state lawmaker Steven Haugaard of Sioux Falls.

Noem has parlayed popularity with Republicans for her hands-off approach to pandemic restrictions into national prominence. But that hasn’t insulated her from criticism from the right in reliably red South Dakota.

Today’s primaries will show just how strong the right wing of the Republican party has grown in South Dakota.