Democratic candidate for governor Jamie Smith is ready to have lots of debates, but coast-to-coast campaigner Kristi Noem is refusing to debate Jamie Smith on public television:
“I think that’s just sad for the people of South Dakota,” Smith said Wednesday night. “We would welcome more debates, of course, and would like to get our message out to more people and allow voters to make informed decisions.”
A spokesman for Noem’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for further comment Thursday.
The campaign’s one debate will be co-hosted by Dakota News Now and KOTA/KEVN on Sept. 30 in Rapid City. Noem declined a debate invitation from South Dakota Public Broadcasting [Slater Dixon, “Democratic Challenger Criticizes Noem’s Decision to Participate in Only One Debate,” SDPB Radio, 2022.07.14].
As we noted yesterday, incumbent Governors Dennis Daugaard and M. Michael Rounds debated their Democratic opponents on public television. Noem is lying when she says she is following the precedent of past governors; the only precedent she is following is her own precedent, established back in 2010, of chickening out of debates with smarter, more articulate, more public-service-minded candidates.
Update 08:49 CDT: Team Noem hilariously justifies its debate dodging this morning by saying National Public Radio and SDPB have “extreme leftist slant” evidenced by the facts that (1) NPR didn’t recite the Declaration of Independence on July 4 this year and (2) SDPB interviewed Ibram X. Kendi last year.