Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., is considering a Senate run in 2014, in an effort to capture the seat being left vacant by Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson, the Hill reports.
Noem has made it clear she will take “several months” before making a decision on whether she'd take on former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds in the Republican primary.
“We're still watching the race,” Noem said.
“We haven't made up our minds on what we're going to do at all, and probably won't for several months yet, so we'll still take into consideration a lot of that.”
“We've had some conversations with organizations [about a Senate run],” Noem said, without specifying which groups she'd been talking to about a possible campaign.
Rounds, the only announced Republican in the race to replace Johnson, has provoked the ire of some conservative groups, who say his record as governor shows he's too liberal to represent their interests in the state.
While some GOP activists have been after Noem to get in the race, one prominent conservative group, the Senate Conservatives Fund, announced shortly after Johnson made his retirement plans public that it was not entirely in Noem’s corner.
“At this point, we don't know if she's someone we can support, but we certainly don't object to her running,” SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins said in March.
Noem has the support of the Tea Party, a more conservative record than Rounds and strong fundraising abilities, all of which could make her a formidable opponent.
Rick Weiland, a two-time House candidate, is currently the only announced Democrat in the race.
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