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South Dakota gubernatorial candidate taps Democratic lawmaker for running mate

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Kim Jarrett

(The Center Square) - The Democratic nominee for the South Dakota gubernatorial race named a colleague in the state House of Representatives as his running mate Thursday. 

Jamie Smith called Rep. Jennifer Keintz “a proven leader and advocate for all South Dakotans.” 

Keintz was first elected to the House in 2020 and serves on the House Education and Health and Human Services, according to a news release from Smith’s campaign. 

“I came to know Jamie as colleagues in the Legislature and have always been impressed with his common sense leadership and vision for the future of South Dakota,” Keintz said in the news release. “It’s time to bring the focus back to the needs of all South Dakotans and we’re ready to deliver for them on day one.”

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Republican Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden said the Democratic running mates “want to bring Joe Biden’s America to South Dakota. 

“Their liberal policies would crush South Dakota families, farmers, and businesses,” Rhoden said in a statement. 

Smith is trying to unseat Governor Kristi Noem, who is running for her second term as governor. She defeated former Senate Minority Leader Billie Sutton in 2020 by garnering 51 percent of the vote to Sutton’s 48 percent, according to the results from Secretary of State Steve Barnett’s office.