There are currently more than a dozen people running for the GOP nomination for president in 2024, including twice indicted ex-president Donald Trump, ex-vice president Mike Pence, Gov. Ron “Don’t Say Gay” DeSantis, and Popcorn Factory villain Nikki Haley.
So far, Haley is the only female vying for the top spot on the GOP ticket, although rumors that Gov. Kristi Noem was considering making a bid have been swirling for months.
That is, until now.
Because South Dakota’s LGBTQ-hating chief executive just confirmed that she’s 99.99% probably not running in a new interview with a local Watertown-based radio station.
Asked about a potential 2024 bid for the White House, Noem replied, “Wouldn’t that be interesting? If there was South Dakota and North Dakota governors running for president? But no, I right now, I’m so focused on South Dakota.”
Although she was quick to imply that it’s not because she doesn’t want to. She just doesn’t see a path to victory with Trump in the picture.
“President Trump is in the race and right now, I don’t see a path for victory with anybody else with him in the race and the situation as it sits today,” Noem said.
“But,” she added, “I think people should saddle up! It can be a rollercoaster of a presidential race. I think it will be unprecedented in what we’ll see for developments. I know there’s a lot of unknowns, and the person that may win, may not even be in the race yet.”
At this point, “unprecedented” is an understatement.
Trump is a one term, twice impeached ex-president who’s lost the last three elections–2018, 2020, and 2022–for the GOP and yet he’s still the frontrunner for the party’s nomination in 2024.
He’s also currently facing a total of 71 criminal and federal charges, with more charges likely on the horizon, and just yesterday damning audio leaked of him talking about those classified documents he stole from the White House and, by the sounds of it, voluntarily showed to people who didn’t have security clearance to view them.
Noem sitting out the 2024 presidential election might be good news for the country, but it’s bad news for LGBTQ+ people, especially trans kids, in South Dakota, since it means she’s just going to have more time to focus on making their lives hell.
In April, she vowed to fight President Biden’s plan to forbid schools from completely banning trans athletes. And in March, she signed a bill banning gender-affirming care for trans kids and teens in South Dakota and forcing doctors currently administering gender-affirming care to minors to stop by December 31, effectively forcing those kids to detransition.
When a reporter confronted her at a press conference last year with the statistic that nearly 90% of LGBTQ+ people in South Dakota experience depression, the highest rate in the country, she blew the whole thing off.
“Why do you think that is?” the reporter asked. To which Noem replied disinterestedly, “I don’t know. That makes me sad and we should figure it out,” before moving on to the next question.
While we’re glad we won’t have to suffer though watching Noem on stage at the GOP primary debate in August, we’re not looking forward to seeing how she tries to undermine and rollback LGBTQ+ equality in her state.
Noem’s current term as governor ends in 2027.