Rep. Kristi Noem will not seek a new term as a member of the House of Representatives leadership team, The Daily Republic first reported tonight.
She was a freshman liaison to the House leadership, which was hailed in 2011 as a sign of her immediate acceptance by Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders. But it almost became a negative for her when the farm bill stalled this summer, and her Democratic opponent, Matt “Corn Dog” Varilek, assailed her for not working to get the bill passed.
Noem waffled, but finally went against the House leaders and was the first freshman to sign a petition to try to force a vote on the farm bill. It didn’t happen, but it allowed her to blunt Varilek’s criticism and show she was working for South Dakota farmers and ranchers.
Did she know she had no chance? Did the speaker give her a shove? Is she making other plans for her time and energy? Was she frightened by the idea of more committee meetings?
Today, Noem sent this letter to the large Republican class of 2010:
Freshman Class Colleagues:
For the last two years, I have been humbled to serve as one of the freshmen liaisons to our House leadership team. During that time, I have worked hard to listen to all of you and represent our voices at the leadership table. While none of us believe we have achieved everything we set out to do over the last two years, together as a class we played a large role in changing the conversation in Washington. That is something we can all be proud of.
As we prepare for conference leadership elections next Wednesday, I have decided that I will not run for the sophomore class leadership position. The strength of our class lies largely within our diversified backgrounds and life experiences. As such, I have no doubt our class will be well represented by whoever we choose to fill that position.
It is an honor to serve with each of you. I look forward to working with you as we continue offering solutions to the serious challenges facing our nation.