South Dakota lawmaker Steven Haugaard announced Wednesday he will mount a conservative primary challenge to Gov. Kristi Noem, who "bowed to the pressure of Big Business," Haugaard said.
Haugaard said he's launching his "South Dakota First" primary challenge against Noem, who is seeking a second term in 2022, because she has "been beholden to special interests," an apparent swipe at the governor's "style and form" veto of a bill that would have banned transgender girls and women from participating in female sports leagues. At the time, members of the GOP decried the veto as "caving" to business interests.
"I've watched with you as our rights, liberties, and freedoms as South Dakotans have come under assault by the extreme progressive left. Sadly, our own governor bowed to the pressure of Big Business behind closed doors," he said in a campaign announcement.
Haugaard specifically referenced the transgender issue in his press release, suggesting Noem was motivated by a desire to pursue higher office.