My inbox is chock full of great notes from around the country. Most folks are alerting me to their state’s rising Palinista(s). Kristi Noem, for example, is one candidate who seems to be generating enthusiasm in South Dakota:
A little-known state representative at the start of this year clawed to victory Tuesday in the Republican primary for U.S. House, beating out a better-financed colleague from the state House and South Dakota’s well-known secretary of state.
Rep. Kristi Noem won a decisive victory over Secretary of State Chris Nelson, winning 42 percent to Nelson’s 35 percent with 95 percent of precincts reporting. Rep. Blake Curd of Sioux Falls garnered 23 percent.
Noem, 38, faces U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in the general election. Herseth Sandlin, who first won in a 2004 special election, is running for her fourth full term in the House.
Just after Noem won the primary, Democrats began to play the Palin card:
“With extreme views that are outside of the mainstream, she became known as ‘South Dakota’s Sarah Palin,’” state party Executive Director Erin McCarrick said in a statement. “South Dakotans need real solutions, not an extremist like Kristi Noem who isn’t ready to lead and has demonstrated a troubling lack of understanding of the challenges facing our state.”
National Journal says this is a “very winnable” race for the GOP. Here’s Noem speaking last night: