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Sources to KSFY: Haugaard Challenging Noem in 2022 Primary

Yesterday I reported that the Senate-loved Sparrow map piles five Republican incumbents into the three-seat Moody-Minnehaha District 25. One of those crowded incumbents, Representative Steven Haugaard (R-10/Sioux Falls), may be taking my advice and easing the new District 25 tension by taking himself out of the running for Senator Marsha Symens’s (R-25/Dell Rapids) seat. Instead, he appears to be going after the Governor’s chair:

Former South Dakota Speaker of the House and current State Representative Steve Haugaard (R-Sioux Falls) will run for South Dakota Governor in 2022.

Haugaard filed Friday to pursue the office, the same day that Governor Kristi Noem officially announced she would be running for re-election in 2022….

Multiple sources confirmed to Dakota News Now/KOTA Territory News that Haugaard intended to pursue the Republican nomination for the governorship.

…Haugaard did not respond to a request for comment [Austin Goss, “Former Speaker of the House to Pursue Governorship,” KSFY, 2021.11.15].

Send in St. Steven!
You’re not worthy, Kristi—so sayeth the Lord. Send in St. Steven!

Goss’s report seems odd for a couple of reasons. First, there is no official filing to pursue the office until the state starts accepting nominating petitions on January 1. Haugaard may have filed a statement of organization for a statewide candidate campaign committee, but the Secretary of State’s Campaign Finance Reporting website shows no such “Haugaard for Governor” paperwork, only the “Haugaard for House” Legislative campaign committee (which as of January 26, 2021, reported $10,043.02 in the bank, or 0.15% of the amount Governor Noem says she has available for the 2022 campaign).

Second, Haugaard didn’t respond to Goss’s request for comment. If Haugaard is going to insurge against his party’s sitting Governor, and if he is going to follow my campaign advice of forcing the Governor to spend her money on defense, he should be eager to start cutting into her press now. She got all sorts of soft press Friday with her reëlection announcement; why not rain on her parade right away by stealing the headlines with one’s own big announcement?

Haugaard hasn’t been afraid to challenge Noem in the press recently. In October, he happily spoke to the press to question Noem’s conduct in the nepotism scandal surrounding her daughter’s real estate appraiser certification:

“When it directly affected the outcome of a license issue for her daughter, it certainly raises questions — and the important thing is the governor campaigned on transparency,” said South Dakota state Rep. Steven Haugaard, a Republican who is a former speaker of the House. Haugaard said both constituents and appraisers working in that field want to know whether Noem’s daughter was given “preferential treatment” and why she was involved in the meeting.

“Those are questions that need to be answered,” he said. “Then the public would be satisfied, and we can move on to something else. … I would like to see a transparent process just like everything in state government should be” [Maeve Reston, Lucy Kafanov, and Jason Kravarik, “Controversy Follows Noem in South Dakota as She Eyes National Stage,” CNN, 2021.10.08].

Haugaard cleverly framed the question of nepotism in the context of government transparency, an issue Noem pretends is central to her governing. His conservative caucus’s failure to rally enough votes last week to block the Senate’s redistricting plan seems to serve as more evidence that Haugaard’s radical right wing cannot effectively counter the SDGOP mainstream, but if Haugaard can translate his anti-Noem messaging into a more vigorous (perhaps the word the campaign advisors will sue is merciless) bombardment, perhaps he can make the next six months the worst election season of Kristi’s life.


  1. I’m No Dr. Suess 2021-11-16

    *psst!* wait for an announcement on Wednesday

  2. Nix 2021-11-16

    Kristi…..Follower of Christ.
    Haugaard…Follower of Trump.
    From the pan, into the fire.

    Cooked either way.

  3. ska sunka 2021-11-16

    Far be it from me to defend our barrel racer girl governor, but I’m not sure Haugaard would be a better option. Sometimes the devil you know is the better option.

  4. O 2021-11-16

    Nix, you dod not put Governor Noem in the “follower of Trump” camp?

  5. buckobear 2021-11-16

    If Marty. had any guts ……….

  6. Donald Pay 2021-11-16

    There should be a rational Republican challenger, too. Who could that be? Making Noem spend down the money she whored from Texas, Florid and California would be a good idea. As much as I can’t stand Noem, she stood up to the establishment over the nuclear waste boreholes. That counts in her favor. On the other hand, Noem seems to have continued the expected future sell out of the Gilt Edge Superfund site to mining by a foreign company. I’m going to have a hell of a time figuring out who to vote for.

  7. Nix 2021-11-16

    Sorry O ,
    My best attempt at sarcasm.

  8. Porter Lansing 2021-11-16

    If sarcasm is on the menu …

    Yeah! That Haugaard is South Dakota’s Beto O’Rourke.

  9. Porter Lansing 2021-11-16

    “Those bore holes are what released Covid-19 into the world.” – RC grudznick

  10. larry kurtz 2021-11-16

    We all know that if Haugaard really wanted to make a difference he would run as an unaffiliated candidate in the general election but forcing Mrs. Noem to spend down some of her pile in a primary is fine, too. It’s entirely likely someone from the even more extreme white wing of the SDGOP will jump into the contest next November.

  11. RST Tribal Member 2021-11-16

    The race to the bottom of the slop bucket is on.

    The state of drunks in all the wrong places and window shield imprint faces is doomed. The selection is thin. The inbred Republicans should just put a cardboard cutout of 45 in the Governor’s seat. Hey, might get more done then having the mini me of 45 running amok.

    Now that the sparrow has crapped out a map of voters the courts might have to decide who gets to vote where. The inbred Republicans clambering for votes caused them to realign their breeding grounds trying to out the runts or misfits… this might leave Pierre empty.

    SD is probably a couple elections away from good leadership in Pierre and/or Washington. Thankfully the state is a federal panhandler and keeper of dirty money… good republican values. Evolving moral compass is evident.

  12. Mark Anderson 2021-11-16

    Well who cares? Does he have his shots? It’s getting so bad now it’s called the red Covid because of all the deaths among the reds in red states. Since they want to own Biden they can just keep dying for Trump and country. Stupid and unvaccinated could be the term for Noem and Haugaard. That is if he hasn’t got his shots.

  13. ArloBlundt 2021-11-16

    Well…it appears that Governor Noem will be challenged in the primary from the right just as Congressman Johnson is being challenged from the right…as I’ve said before, a candidate cannot be too far to the right in South Dakota….no matter how radically right the position, the politician will find that they have plenty of company among voters.

  14. Porter Lansing 2021-11-16

    Kristi Noem Lies Like A Trump!
    Q ~ What do compulsive liars do when caught lying.
    A ~ A compulsive liar may tell a lie about someone bullying them over and over until other people believe the lie, and it becomes truth to the people around them.
    Compulsive liars are quick thinkers.
    Even when you think you’ve caught them in a lie, they will masterfully prove to you why they’re not to be messed with.
    They can even make you feel embarrassed for daring to question their stories.
    One can say that they are master manipulators who know just how to use others’ weaknesses against them.

  15. grudznick 2021-11-16

    Well, if Mr. Haugaard, the Overgodder, comes out in favor of The Borehole, it’s going to be tough not to support him. Can you imagine all the Haugaard masks his followers will sport? Sort of a comb-over, with a pornstasche.

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-16

    Arlo, you remind me that the twin primary of Howard vs Johnson and Haugaard vs Noem offers a dynamic not available in 2018. In 2018, we had two contests for open seats. Neither Noem nor Jackley affiliated with Johnson, Krebs, or Tapio. As Krebs and Tapio competed for the hard right Trump base, neither found a kindred soul in the Governor’s race to share the stump. Crossing the streams with state and federal campaigns may pose some campaign finance disclosure complications, but teaming up for rallies and outreach could help candidates.

    In 2022, Howard and Haugaard are coming from the same background: Both are right wing legislators who have seen how the opportunist mainstream Republican caucus in Pierre doesn’t stick to core Republican party principles (at least not the way that Howard and Haugaard interpret those principles). Both are challenging incumbents who represent that opportunist and unprincipled mainstream. Both can appeal to exactly the same voters with exactly the same message.

  17. grudznick 2021-11-16

    Plus, Mr. H, it is Mr. Haugaard who calls the shots for Ms. Taffy in Pierre. He is the leader of the Cabal of the Insanest, and puppets all that they do. You are correct to expect a lot of co-appearances by the tag-team of H & H.

  18. ArloBlundt 2021-11-16

    Well…grudz…that will be very interesting, indeed….if Howard and Haugaard team up with a vigorous far right platform of Christian Identity talking points and hammer at Noem, My bet is Mrs. Noem will move strongly To The Right…it will become Who is the most Righteous, Who is God speaking too, most clearly and most often…Dusty will be trampled in the stampede to the far, far Right….If Howard and Haugaard can stir up enough Righeous fervor, so called moderate Republicans may sit out the primary.

  19. grudznick 2021-11-16

    No, Mr. Blundt, it will play into the plan of some moderates. They will let the insanest stampede so far right they fall of the edge, and even libbies leaning middle will vote for the fellows that are more mainstream. Ms. Noem will crush Mr. Haugaard, no matter which direction she heads, she will keep going up. Ms. Howard is the one who will end up having to flash some leg in desperation to gain even a few points on Mr. Dusty’s massive lead.

  20. ArloBlundt 2021-11-16

    Sorry Grudz…but Republican voters are much, much more fickle than that….there is not much weight in the center of the Party, almost no leadership other than the fella from Watertown, the Party has no moderate positions. The greatest attraction of the Party for voters is a wedding of religion and political power, white supremacy, and culture wars with abortion, an issue people who consider themselves moderate believe has a good many complications and subtle distinctions, being a leading rallying point for the burgeoning and active right wing. They will shout down any moderate candidate. The Dusty one will hide out during the campaign and hope a low profile allows him to weather the storm. Governor Noem survives as well but continues to paint herself into an extreme right corner. Moderate Republicans sit out the primary or look for an alternative candidate who does not mix religion with politics…that candidate, if he or she arises, is likely to finish third.

  21. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-16

    Haugaard summons the press to an “important announcement” Wednesday (tomorrow!), 11 a.m., at 1601 E 69th St, Sioux Falls. According to the Googles, that address houses Haugaard’s law office, as well as Grace Presbyterian Church and Ascend Financial. It’s also really close to Sioux Falls Christian School; maybe they’ll let the kiddos out for a nice civics field trip.

    The District 10 legislator, now removed to District 25, is hosting this press conference in the southern fringe of new District 13, on the northern edge of Lincoln County.

  22. grudznick 2021-11-16

    The Conservatives with Common Sense shall march against Overgodders!

  23. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-16

    How soon will Haugaard trek out to RC to face Grudz’s CCSers and hold a kick-off with his friend Rep. Howard? They need to nail down the Citizens for Liberty vote.

    Then, when will Haugaard cross town to Stace Nelson’s office and ask for his support and running-matery?

  24. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-16

    That fella from Watertown should run for Governor. Then we’d have a really good fight.

  25. M 2021-11-17

    There are a lot of Dusty Johnson lovers in Walworth County. Many have openly discussed him challenging Noem because they think he would be more like Dennis Daugaard and bring some calm and respectability to the party and the state. We all know he is as red as red can be but I do think he could have won. I’m happy someone has stood up to her BUT can’t wait to see who the Democrats run.

  26. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-17

    Hmm… as a non-profit organization, can SDFCA host a partisan political campaign event? by providing office space for Haugaard’s announcement, are they supporting partisan political activity with their resources?

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