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Noem Backs Breitling, 5 Other GOP Legislative Candidates with PAC Cash

Governor Kristi Noem has been making all sorts of endorsements in our Republican Legislative primary. She’s also putting her money behind a few chosen candidates:

  • 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!


  1. Misty 2022-05-25 08:50

    Spencer Gosch is corrupt. He needs to leave the legislature. His consistent coverup for Ravnsborg is about corrupt as you can get. South Dakota has no need of his type in politics or Haugaard for that matter, too.

  2. larry kurtz 2022-05-25 10:38

    A measly thousand bucks for her former chief of staff?

    It is difficult, indeed, to imagine a worse scandal than covering up Joe Boever’s dismemberment at the hands of the state’s top law enforcement officer. How is Joe’s blood not on Mrs. Noem’s hands, too?

  3. Arlo Blundt 2022-05-25 14:51

    Well, Governor Noem and Senator Schoenbeck are waging civil war within the “big tent” Republican Party. They cannot tolerate nay sayers of any stripe. The campaign against the wing nuts is very entertaining and its entertainment value would be enhanced if the wing nuts would fight back more effectively.

  4. leslie 2022-05-25 22:29

    Is this the most she has ever war-chested:

    Interestingly, [killer/liar/incompetent] Noem … gubernatorial campaign fund, which reported $7.76 million on hand as of May 18 and has received another $108K in just the last week” jetting around!!!???

    2nd amend accessory/1st degree malicious pandemic propagandist to murder/lies recorded here.

  5. Bill Steinlicht 2022-05-27 07:31

    Interesting that John Wiik is on the list as receiving contributions. I do believe that John is running unopposed. HMMMMMM….why would Mr Wiik even need the funding ?? For being a loyal minion?? Blowing the Govenor’s horn whenever she says blow?

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