SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Gov. Kristi Noem won’t participate in a debate sponsored by South Dakota Public Broadcasting because of what her campaign spokesman called its “extreme leftward swing.”
In a break from precedent, the Republican governor has agreed to just one debate with her challenger, Democratic state Rep. Jamie Smith. Noem has also positioned herself for a 2024 White House bid.
She says that South Dakota Public Broadcasting has shown an “extreme leftward swing” in its coverage of her efforts to bar public schools and universities from using certain approaches to teaching about race.
South Dakota Public Broadcasting says it will still proceed with “fair, in-depth candidate debates and interviews,” but provide an empty chair in the space Noem would have taken.