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In South Dakota: Another Sarah Palin?


pollyannaish
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story?id=11860378
abc News:

If money is any indication, the hottest Republican House candidate in the country is Kristi Noem. The 38-year-old rancher has raised more campaign cash than any Republican house challenger in the country.

Noem has raised $1.1 million over the past three months, about twice as much as her opponent, Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-SD). And that money will go a long way: South Dakota's media market is one of the least expensive in the country.

Noem may need the cash. Herseth-Sandlin is a moderate Democrat with a proven ability to win, and win big, in South Dakota. She decimated her Republican opponent in 2008 with nearly 70 percent of the vote, even as the state voted oHerseth-Sandlin is an avid hunter and one of the top conservative Democrats in the House. She's also from a highly regarded South Dakota political family; her grandfather was a governor, her grandmother a South Dakota Secretary of State and her father a leader in the state legislature.

But Herseth-Sandlin has never faced a challenger like Kristi Noem. She's a rancher, a mother of three, and a staunch conservative who is running on a platform of slashing federal spending and repealing the new federal health care law. She's also an avid hunter known to hunt elk with a bow and arrow. Her political views and physical appearance have led some to label her "South Dakota's Sarah Palin.

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The press may want us to focus on the O'Donnells and the Paladinos. But quietly and effectively the next round of smart, capable GOP superstars are rising.

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