SIOUX FALLS – As South Dakota’s closely-watched race for Governor comes to a close, both campaigns’ final advertisements were subject to the fact-checking microscope of the state’s largest TV station, KELO. The results are in and for the Noem campaign, they aren’t good.
The Noem campaign released an ad titled “Neighbors” featuring several South Dakotans claiming to be neighbors of the Sutton family. There were major problems with the ad, beginning with the undeniable fact that the “neighbors” in the ad weren’t really neighbors at all. The Noem campaign falsely claimed those featured in the ad lived near the Suttons when in reality that is not the case.
“I guess Kristi Noem has been in DC long enough, she forgot what being a ‘neighbor’ means,” said Sutton for South Dakota campaign manager Suzanne Jones Pranger. “Congresswoman Noem ought to spend a little more time here in South Dakota.”
The Noem campaign also couldn’t find anyone to act in their ad other than political insiders. KELO noted that several actors were delegates to the 2018 South Dakota Republican convention, demonstrating the politically motivated nature of the actors.
“It’s unfortunate the Noem campaign would take party insiders from a political convention and put them on TV claiming to be unbiased ‘neighbors’,” said Jones Pranger. “Fortunately, this race will be decided by everyday South Dakotans that are more focused on coming together around what we have in common than dividing us along partisan lines like Noem has done with this ad.”
The same station, KELO, analyzed an advertisement released by the Sutton campaign titled “Whatever”. The ad reminds voters that Noem announced her campaign for governor just six days after being elected to Congress, skipped more votes than almost any member of congress, funneled millions to her campaign even when South Dakota voted to make it illegal and her team was fined for breaking South Dakota’s campaign finance law. KELO found the claims made about Noem to be backed up by facts.
“South Dakotans want their elected officials to tell the truth, plain and simple,” said Jones Pranger. “Kristi Noem has been in DC so long she’s finding it hard to be honest with the people of South Dakota. That might work in Washington, but it won’t fly in South Dakota.”
Billie Sutton is a rancher, financial professional at a small community bank, State Senator, former professional rodeo cowboy, fifth-generation South Dakotan, and candidate for Governor.