South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem endorses Trump
Why it matters: Many Republican governors have not yet offered an endorsement in the crowded primary and Noem's announcement is drawing speculation that Trump is considering her as his running mate.
Driving the news: "He is the leader, the fighter that our country needs," Noem said Friday at a Trump rally in Rapid City, S.D.
- "He has my full and complete endorsement for president of the United States of America," she said.
- "I will do everything I can to help him win and save this country."
The big picture: Noem, a close ally of the former president, has bolstered her national presence in recent months, making regular appearances on Fox News and running a $5 million national ad blitz, per Politico.
- When asked last month on Fox News whether she would consider becoming Trump's running mate in 2024, she said: "Of course, I would consider it."
- Noem distanced herself slightly from the former president following the 2022 midterm elections, telling the New York Times at the time that she didn't think Trump offered "the best chance" for the GOP in 2024.
Noem gained national attention from her Republican colleagues for keeping her state open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- She flirted with a 2024 presidential bid herself, but opted out and said that nobody else can win "as long as Trump's in the race."
Between the lines: Trump is strongly considering picking a female running mate who is loyal and won't steal the spotlight from him, Axios reported earlier this year.