WASHINGTON (Gray DC) Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-SD) will kick off her final term in the U.S. House this January, after announcing her bid to become South Dakota's first female governor in 2018.
“I've been very honored and humbled to represent the people of the state and carry their voice here in the House," Noem said in an interview in her Washington D.C. office.
Noem has decided this will be her fourth and final term in the House of Representatives. Less than a month ago, she released a video announcing she will run for governor in 2018, instead of seeking re-election to the House.
"I want to go back home, let somebody else have the opportunity to represent South Dakota and continue to serve in any way that the people of the state see fit," Noem said.
The 44-year old lawmaker says she's looking forward to making a lasting impression over the next two years, spending time in Washington this week to prepare for next session.
“I'll be here working on specific policies and legislation on tax reform and healthcare when we are out of session just so that we can be ready to go in January," she explained.
A major goal for Noem, passing legislation to reform the Indian Health Service (IHS). The bill she introduced this past session never made it to the president's desk.
“We will be proposing the bill again next Congress," she said. "We are continuously making additions, changes to it to make it even better and more comprehensive and making it bipartisan as well.”
Over the next two years, the Congresswoman will be working to prove her experience in Washington qualifies her for South Dakota's top job.
“The knowledge that I've gained here in the last eight years is really how does the money flow to the states, what can we do to reform our programs in South Dakota that will make them much more efficient," Noem said.
Noem will face South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley in a Republican primary. She says her campaign won’t officially kick off until next year.