The people of South Dakota have spoken, and they want U.S. House Representative Kristi Noem representing them for another two years.
Noem was re-elected as South Dakota’s at-large member of the House Tuesday night, guaranteeing her a second term in Congress. Noem, a member of the Republican Party, won the 2010 election against incumbent Rep. Stephanie
Herseth Sandlin. This year, she defeated Democratic-hopeful Matt Varilek by roughly 5,000 votes to retain
During her first term in Congress, Noem served on the Agricultural Committee, the Natural Resources Committee and the Education & Workforce Committee. In her second term, she hopes to help shift Congress’ focus to repairing the United States economy and helping businesses increase profits.
Students at the University of South Dakota were quick to react to Noem’s victory.
“It was kind of expected,” Alissa VanMeeteren, a senior and USD’s Student Government Association president, said. “Kristi (Noem) is an outstanding fundraiser and she represents South Dakota well. I do think Matt would have done a good job, but not the best job, and that’s what Kristi (Noem) will do.”
Junior Christopher Prosch, who was president of USD’s College Republicans organization last year, also felt Noem’s win was to be expected.
“I knew Noem would win,” Prosch said. “Varilek didn’t have the capital or the support to win. I don’t like Noem a lot, but unfortunately, she was just going to win it. In a nutshell, Noem had everything Varilek needed — money and
“Noem has done a really good job in D.C.,” sophomore Isaiah Wonnenberg said. “She’s brought more attention to South Dakota. I think she’ll be good for us for another two years.”
Not all Republican students on campus were backing Noem.
“I’m a Republican and I voted for Varilek,” senior Ross Dietrich said. “Noem couldn’t get the farm bill passed with bipartisan support. She couldn’t get something done that was important to South Dakota’s needs. She really just hasn’t gotten anything done.”
“It’s time for Noem to get out and for us to get a new person in,” junior Dawn Berndt said. “I’m a little disappointed.”
Members of USD’s College Democrats shared in Berndt’s disappointment.
“For South Dakota, two more years of Kristi Noem means another two years of disappointing performances from our representative,” College Democrats vice president Brittany Levine said. “As for Varilek, we gave it a good effort, but we were extremely out-funded. I don’t think this changes the fact that people want Noem out of office.”
College Democrats secretary Rachelle Norberg said the relatively close election had sent Noem a strong message.
“Even with the outcome, it showed Kristi that she needs to show up for work and do her job. She needs to represent South Dakota,” she said.
Noem addressed her victory in an acceptance speech in Sioux Falls.
“I want each and every South Dakotan out there to know that I will continue to represent you with the same passion and commitment that I have the last two years,” Noem said. “We are South Dakota people who recognize that we need some South Dakota common sense in Washington D.C.”
In her speech, Noem thanked her family for their support, her volunteers for their efforts and Republican U.S. Senator John Thune for his endorsement.
“I want to speak to every single South Dakotan today,” Noem said. “I know that not everyone in South Dakota voted for me tonight. I know that there are a lot of Republicans, Democrats and Independents across the state and I want you to know that maybe while you didn’t vote for me, I will still represent you.”