Gov. Kristi Noem's reelection campaign says it has raised $15 million

Governor Kristi Noem speaks with attendees ahead of a bill signing on Thursday, March 24, 2022, at First Premier Bank in Sioux Falls.

Gov. Kristi Noem's campaign announced Monday that Noem has nearly $9 million in cash on hand heading into a primary challenge June 7.

Noem faces a challenge from Rep. Steve Haugaard, a Sioux Falls Republican and former speaker of the South Dakota House. If she prevails in that race, she would run against Rep. Jamie Smith, the Democratic minority leader, in November's general election.

Haugaard reported raising more than $105,000, with almost $24,000 in cash on hand.

Smith's campaign reported raising more than $137,000 in the three months since launching his campaign. He had about $110,000 in cash on hand.

Noem is running for a second four-year term.

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The $8.7 million in cash on hand dwarfs previous amounts for governor. At this point in his first term, former Gov. Dennis Daugaard had $1.6 million in cash on hand.

Since the start of the cycle, Noem has raised $15 million, the campaign reported. Of that, $3.35 million has been raised in this calendar year. The money includes her campaign account as well as a political action committee.

In a statement, she said she and Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden are "grateful" for the support.

"We will continue to protect our South Dakota way of life, and the priorities that are most important to the people of our great state," she said. "We have accomplished a lot together but there is still much more to do."

Noem's fundraising has been buoyed by a national profile that emerged for her handling of the COVID pandemic, which appealed to conservatives who objected to lockdowns and mandates.

This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Gov. Noem's campaign says it has millions in cash ahead of primaries