The governor’s race. With more than a year to go before the primary, the two announced GOP contenders are locked in guerrilla warfare.
And now, in the weeks ahead, Attorney General Marty Jackley and Congresswoman Kristi Noem are set to run a gauntlet of GOP Lincoln Day dinners, the fundraising events held by county parties and attended by the party’s most loyal foot soldiers. These are the Republicans who wouldn’t miss a primary election if a rabid beaver gnawed off their leg on Election Day. They are the most deeply ideological activists who also write checks.
Noem, Jackley and a slate of other candidates and officials will make the Lincoln Day rounds – there are eight dinners alone in April – giving the same stump speech, eating rubber chicken and attempting to cultivate support among the base. The primary isn’t until June of next year, but with two GOP heavyweights in the race, the time to campaign has come.
While all of this takes place in public, the behind-the-scenes fighting is well under way.