South Dakota voters haven’t elected a Democrat as governor in 40 years. So the fact that this year’s race between Republican U-S Senator Kristi Noem and Democratic State Senator Billie Sutton is coming down to the wire has people paying attention.
Tuesday night the two met in their first televised debate of the election season. Sutton paints himself as a moderate but Noem took issue with that during the one hour debate.
The candidates tackled the usual talking points as well as some significant especially in South Dakota including construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Protests erupted in North Dakota during pipeline construction there.
“It’s a terrible thing that happened up there and so I think it’s important that we bring everyone to the table and that we’re working without tribes to make sure there isn’t violence and that people are safe. That’s going to be incredibly important because this could get very ugly and we do not want that to happen. I’ve built trust with our tribes,” said candidate for governor Billie Sutton.
“It’s something where I differ with Billie. In the state legislature in votes he hasn’t supported the Keystone pipeline or it being built across the state of South Dakota. You go and talk to any of the leaders in the counties where this pipeline is going through, they are very concerned and they want a strong governor who is proactive with a plan,” said governor candidate Rep. Kristi Noem.
Tuesday’s debate is the first of 2 televised debates planned before the November 6th election.