On November 6, South Dakota gave me the honor of a lifetime – the opportunity to serve as the next governor of the state I love most. I’m humbled beyond words. I’m blessed. I’m grateful.
South Dakota has always been my heart. Even when I was a little girl, I recognized this was a special place where I wanted to eventually raise a family and spend my career. I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity to do that.
I grew up with a dad who worked hard every day to build a farm large enough for his kids to come home to, if we wanted. My dad didn’t make it to see today, but his dreams did. As much as he wanted us to carry on our family farm and ranch, what he really wanted was to give the next generation an opportunity to thrive. That dream serves as the foundation of my vision for South Dakota.
We need to make sure we’re setting our kids up for success in the education system. That means empowering families and doing more with every taxpayer dollar. It means putting civics education back in our classrooms and encouraging kids to explore in-demand, high paying jobs earlier. I believe we can bolster opportunities to generate a culture where our kids want to stay, a place where they can succeed.
We also need to work toward improving the public safety system. There is a better way to tackle the drug addiction issue. I want to be aggressive on that front because it’s time to end the meth and opioid crisis. We also have some tremendous opportunities to expand mental health access throughout the state, so that the criminal justice system is no longer a primary provider of mental health services in the state.
Workforce development is another area where there is great need. That means getting folks the skills they need, but it also means making sure workers have affordable housing, good schools, and access to quality healthcare. This also necessitates improving rural broadband. Ensuring high-speed internet across the state is the best way to encourage businesses to hire locally while empowering them to sell globally.
As you can see, I have big plans for our state, and I know it’ll take a lot of work to get them done. But I’m committed to working hard, listening to your voices, and bringing our state together around the tenants that make us strong: faith and that good old South Dakota grit.
Thank you for trusting me to be your next governor.