South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem seemed to be on the fast-track: a national profile, a good relationship with former President Donald Trump, and the favor of conservatives in her state and across the country. But a bill targeting transgender athletes—and the no-win politics that have engulfed the legislation—now suddenly threatens to sideline her ambitions.
House Bill 1217 in the South Dakota legislature would prohibit transgender women from participating in female sports. And while Noem first celebrated the measure’s passage in early March, the ramifications of such a law, and the subsequent changes Noem is now seeking, have drawn ire from conservative activists and right-wing media.
“I’m excited to sign this bill very soon,” a tweet from her official account stated on March 8.