South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has yet to make herself available to the Capitol press during the first three weeks of the state’s legislative session.
That’s despite having an ambitious legislative agenda that includes repealing the sales tax on groceries – the largest tax cut in South Dakota history – and new rules for foreign entities purchasing farmland.
Traditionally, Democratic and Republican legislative leaders have held half-hour news conferences on the week’s final day when the Legislature is in session, then the governor gets her turn.
Noem is a potential 2024 White House contender and has granted numerous TV interviews to national outlets, but has not personally taken questions from reporters at the Capitol in Pierre.
Noem’s retreat from a forum that allows her to face public scrutiny as well as make a case for her proposals comes after a campaign season in which candidates nationwide skipped out on debates.
Rather than respond to questions they may not want to answer, many instead made their public case on social media, where they could control their message.