South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said her primary focus is issues within her state, but she has not ruled out a potential run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
"I'm super focused here in South Dakota," Noem said Tuesday during an appearance on Fox News. "But I'll tell you, this country cannot afford four more years of Joe Biden. We need new leadership and leadership that loves this country — not one that is clearly not healthy."
Pressed further, Noem said, "It's not a no."
Noem, 51, is one of the brightest stars in conservative Republican circles given how her state has flourished, even through the COVID-19 pandemic and an unstable economy in the first two years of Joe Biden's presidency. The state's unemployment rate was a record 1.9% in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; the national average is 3.5%.
South Dakota also has 25,000 job openings, Noem said Tuesday when she announced a $7.94 million apprenticeship program that will help fill open positions and encourage people in the state to think of jobs and fields that they might not have considered.
Her credentials would be strong to make a run at the 2024 Republican nomination.
"We've got so many people that are talking about it and running that I think it's best if I stay focused on where I am and continue to visit with my family and pray and do the best thing that we think is right for our family — but also continue to serve this country, because we need people that'll step up and do hard things these days to solve our problems," Noem said. "If I had an answer that was clear, I would give it to you today."
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