Noem misses weekly legislative press conference

Governor Kristi Noem has not made herself available to local media for questions since before her re-election win in early November 2022, and has not made clear if she intends to attend weekly press conferences during the 2023 legislative session.
Gov. Kristi Noem (R, S.D.) discusses media coverage of the Keystone XL pipeline during a press...
Gov. Kristi Noem (R, S.D.) discusses media coverage of the Keystone XL pipeline during a press conference February 4th, 2021 in Pierre.(Austin Goss DNN/KOTA)
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 10:44 AM MST
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PIERRE, S.D. - As speculation mounts that she may run for President in 2024, Governor Kristi Noem is continuing to avoid interacting with members of the local media.

Thursday, Noem did not attend the regularly scheduled weekly press conference, after leadership from both political parties spoke. Typically, governors follow up on remarks from Republican and Democratic leaders each Thursday during the legislative session.

Noem was in Pierre Wednesday, according to her social media.

“In South Dakota we have a short, 38-day, legislative session,” Sen. Reynold Nesiba (D-Sioux Falls) said in a statement. “It would be helpful to have the Governor available to meet with legislative members of both parties, and to make herself available to the local Capitol press corps.”

The tradition of the weekly press conference during session has existed since well before Noem took office initially in 2019. Governors Dennis Daugaard and Mike Rounds regularly attended weekly press conferences during the legislative session.

Already this year, Noem has had a number of state lawmakers introduced and carry bills on her behalf, the most notable being to cut the sales tax on groceries.

“If Noem really wants to reduce the sales tax on food this session, she needs to be here actively lobbying for that,” Nesiba said. “If it fails, it will be in part because of her lack of active engagement in the legislative process.”

Since November, Noem’s office has not made herself available to Dakota News Now/KOTA Territory, despite a number of interview requests. Requests to interview Noem have been made on several occasions since November of last year. In the meantime, Noem has appeared for interviews on a number of national media outlets.

Noem’s office did not respond to an inquiry about why she did not attend Thursday, and to ask whether or not she intended to have a weekly press conference for the rest of the legislative session.