FILE - This combination of file photos shows South Dakota gubernatorial candidates, Republican U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, left, and Democrat Bille Sutton. The first general election debate in the top-tier race for South Dakota governor comes as Republican Kristi Noem has sought to dispel Democratic challenger Billie Sutton’s moderate image, while Sutton has portrayed Noem as a Washington politician working for special interests. (AP Photo/File)

Democrat to debate with rare shot at governor's race win

October 22, 2018 - 11:38 pm

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The first debate in South Dakota's race for governor comes as Republican Kristi Noem has sought to dispel Democratic challenger Billie Sutton's moderate image.

Meanwhile, Sutton has portrayed Noem as a Washington politician working for special interests. They're set to debate Tuesday evening on KELO-TV.

A four-term congresswoman, Noem is favored to be South Dakota's first female governor. But Sutton, a state senator and former professional rodeo cowboy paralyzed in a 2007 rodeo accident, is campaigning hard to become the first Democrat to hold the office in decades.

The political jabs filling the airwaves are almost sure to surface at the debate. Noem's campaign has dubbed Sutton a "Bernie Sanders liberal hiding under a cowboy hat." A Sutton ad says Noem is the "worst of Washington."

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