Gov. Kristi Noem discusses 2024 & Memoir "Not My First Rodeo" with Fox News

Swimmer Riley Gaines trusts Gov Noem ‘to fight for girls’ after competing against biological male Lia Thomas

With just four weeks until the midterm elections, the re-election campaign for Gov. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., launched its latest ad highlighting 12-time All-American female swimmer Riley Gaines, who said girls’ athletic aspirations are “being stolen by men competing in women’s sports” after tying with a biological male at the NCAA national championships.

The ad, titled “Girls Dream,” focuses on Gaines and her experience of being forced to compete against, and eventually tying with, a biological male, Lia Thomas, in the 200-yard NCAA championships in March. 

Gaines praised Noem in the ad, exclaiming that she trusts the GOP governor “to fight for girls across South Dakota.”

“I’ve worked hard to accomplish my dream, becoming a 12-time All-American swimmer. But for girls across America, that dream is being stolen by men competing in women’s sports. And the extreme left supports it, like Jamie Smith,” Gaines stated in the ad.

I’M AN NCAA CHAMPION FEMALE SWIMMER AND WE HAVE TO PROTECT GIRLS, WOMEN FROM BIDEN’S DESTRUCTION OF TITLE IX

Gaines continued, bashing Noem’s Democratic challenger, Rep. Jamie Smith, for voting against the legislation that banned biological males from participating in girls’ sports.

“Smith even voted in favor of it, jeopardizing girls’ sports. Kristi Noem stood up for us, passing the toughest law in the country to defend female sports. I trust Gov. Noem to fight for girls across South Dakota,” the athlete concluded.

EXCLUSIVE: GOP GOV KRISTI NOEM ANNOUNCES ‘LARGEST TAX CUT IN SOUTH DAKOTA HISTORY’

The press release also noted Gaines’ “extreme discomfort” with previously having to share a locker room with a biological male.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is seeking re-election this fall.
(Charlie Neibergall)

Noem in February signed into law Senate Bill 46, which banned biological males from participating and competing in women’s sports. “Only female athletes, based on their biological sex, may participate in any team, sport or athletic event designated as being for females, women or girls,” the text read.

She faced criticism from her own party after she initially sent the first version of the bill back to the legislature in 2021, requesting additional changes to the measure.

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The 2022 law defined biological sex as the gender listed on an individual’s birth certificate. “Biological sex is either female or male as described by the sex listed on the athlete’s official birth certificate issued at or near the time of the athlete’s birth.”

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