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Noem’s new PAC paves way to fundraise, spread influence

May 25, 2021 GMT
FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2021, file photo, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Fla. Gov. Noem's campaign has formed a federal political action committee, indicating her growing fundraising prowess and national ambitions. The Republican insists she is focused on getting reelected as governor next year. But her nationwide fundraising network has fueled speculation that she could be eyeing a 2024 presidential bid. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2021, file photo, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Fla. Gov. Noem's campaign has formed a federal political action committee, indicating her growing fundraising prowess and national ambitions. The Republican insists she is focused on getting reelected as governor next year. But her nationwide fundraising network has fueled speculation that she could be eyeing a 2024 presidential bid. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2021, file photo, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Fla. Gov. Noem's campaign has formed a federal political action committee, indicating her growing fundraising prowess and national ambitions. The Republican insists she is focused on getting reelected as governor next year. But her nationwide fundraising network has fueled speculation that she could be eyeing a 2024 presidential bid. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has formed a federal political action committee, indicating her growing fundraising prowess and national ambitions.

The Republican has insisted she is focused on getting reelected as governor next year, but her nationwide fundraising network has fueled speculation she could be eyeing a 2024 presidential bid. Last week, her campaign registered a PAC called Noem Victory Fund with the Federal Elections Commission. The move means the PAC can distribute funds into elections beyond South Dakota as well as create a pot of money that could be put into a future campaign for federal office, campaign finance experts said.

Given Noem’s ascendant profile among conservatives, the federal PAC registration is “a pretty strong signal that she probably has national aspirations,” Edwin Bender, the head of The National Institute on Money in State Politics, said.

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The PAC’s registration document says it’s intended to collect fundraising contributions for a host of political organizations, including the reelection campaigns for Noem and Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden, the South Dakota GOP, a new state PAC created by Noem’s campaign chairman and a separate federal PAC linked to Noem that has remained mostly dormant while she has been governor.

The treasurer for the PAC, Kevin Broghamer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The governor has already benefitted from frequent trips to attend fundraisers across the country, raising nearly $1 million in the last quarter of 2020. Roughly 80% of donors listed on the most recent report for her gubernatorial campaign were from outside South Dakota.

Andrew Mayersohn, a researcher with the Center for Responsive Politics, noted that former Republican governors such as Sen. Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, have registered federal PACs to cast their influence beyond their home states.