PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota state lawmaker Rep. Jamie Smith is running for governor. Smith leads the House Democratic caucus.

His announcement comes after a months-long search by Democrats for a candidate to mount a challenge to Republican Gov. Kristi Noem.

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The governor also faces a Republican primary challenge from South Dakota Rep. Steve Haugaard. Smith is a Sioux Falls real estate agent. He acknowledges that he faces an “uphill climb” against Noem.

She has already raised $11.8 million and carved out a nationwide profile among Republicans. But he says he plans to make a broad appeal to “Democrats, independents and Republicans.”


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