- Senator Bryan Breitling, District 23 Senate: $5,000
- Rep. Timothy Goodwin, District 30 Senate: $5,000
- Stephanie Sauder, District 4 House: $5,000
- Lisa Rave, District 25 Senate: $2,000
- Senator John Wiik, District 4 Senate: $2,000
- Tony Venhuizen, District 13 House: $1,000
Arguably the most interesting Noem donation is her $5K investment in Senator Breitling, who faces a primary challenge from Speaker of the House Spencer Gosch, who feuded with Noem throughout the 2022 Session. Breitling has also received $5,000 from Noem’s doodle-whacking collaborator, Senator Lee Schoenbeck, who clearly shares Noem’s interest in making sure the Senate gains no possible challengers to Noem’s and Schoenbeck’s reign. Schoenbeck has given cash to three other Noem picks: $1K to Goodwin, $1K to Sauder, and $500 to Rave.
But what, only $1,000 from Noem to her best chief of staff, Tony Venhuizen? Ah, not to worry: she figures correctly that he’s such a powerhouse he doesn’t need as much cash from her coffers. Venhuizen reports raising $126,301 this spring and spending half of that.
Interestingly, Noem gave no money to other candidates from her gubernatorial campaign fund, which reported $7.76 million on hand as of May 18 and has received another $108K in just the last week (see Supplemental Statements May 19, May 20, May 21, May 22, and May 24). The cold hard $20K she has thrown on the primary scales came entirely from her SD Strong Leadership PAC, which is not to be confused with Lee Schoenbeck’s South Dakota Strong PAC. Schoenbeck has so far taken the opposite approach, pouring $37,313.13 of primary weight from his Schoenbeck for Senate committee (which raised $75K pre-primary, spent $97K, and has a mere $17.4K on hand), thus putting his name on 36 picks, and only $1K from his Strong PAC to incumbent District 13 House primary combatant Rep. Richard Thomason.
Stay tuned: I’ll have a breakdown of all the candidates Schoenbeck is funding later this morning!