SOUTH Dakota Governor Kristi Noem held a legislative seat before her gubernatorial run, but prior to that, she was royalty.
In 1990, she was crowned the South Dakota Snow Queen in the state’s annual Snow Queen Festival pageant.
Kristi Noem was crowned South Dakota Snow Queen in 1990[/caption]
South Dakota Governor Noem speaks to supporters at the North Carolina GOP convention[/caption]
Not yet married to her husband Bryon, Kristi Arnold competed in the pageant as a representative for the city of Bryant in her native Hamlin County.
Noem told the Aberdeen News that she keeps up with the event, attending the festival when she can and following the events every year.
She also told the outlet that her participation in the pageant was her first encounter with public speaking, and helped her develop skills that would later help her reach her aspirations of holding public office.
Describing her experience in the Snow Queen Festival, Noem said judges “weren’t looking for the best interview or who gave the best speech, but a well-rounded person who can handle themselves in a variety of situations.”
Noem said the pageant provided her first experience with a group interview and hands-on education in crafting a resume.
“I think that was the first time I’d put together a document like that.”
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She also attributes part of her passion for her home state to the engagements she had across South Dakota during her “term” as Snow Queen.
“What a great gift to be able to travel and promote South Dakota and learn as an 18-year-old all the things that are special to our state,” she told the outlet.
A member of the Republican Party, Noem served as the US Representative of South Dakota‘s at-large congressional district from 2011 to 2019.
The couple has three children together, Kassidy, Kennedy and Booker.
Noem has repeatedly taken aim at President Biden, arguing that “what we’ve seen come out of the Biden administration has been absolutely devastating.”
Noem is up for re-election in 2022. She has become a hero to conservatives over the past two years for her resistance to restrictions and regulations in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, saying that her administration has “pushed back on several levels.”