NEW: Kristi Noem Leads the Pack

( – South Dakota’s Republican Governor, Kristi Noem, who is extremely popular with the GOP’s grassroots, publicly backed Donald Trump’s campaign for a return to the White House in 2024.

She made her endorsement at a GOP event in South Dakota where Trump, now 77, was the main attraction. This has fueled conversations suggesting that Noem, 51, could be a top contender for Trump’s Vice President in the 2024 election. Several GOP insiders say Noem now leads the pack of those Trump is considering.

As Noem took to the podium in Rapid City, she said, “You made America great again once; let’s do it again.”

She continued her public support of Trump by stating, “He has my full and complete endorsement for president of the United States of America. I will do everything I can to help him win and save this country.”

Trump, who leads all contenders in the Republican primaries according to current polls, warmly welcomed Noem’s endorsement.

In his speech, Trump described Noem as “one of the most successful governors in the entire nation” and a “warrior for American values.”

Trump expressed his gratitude, saying, “Kristi, I am truly honored to receive your endorsement. Very much so.” He added, “It’s a great honor,” concerning Noem’s support. “Her’s means a lot.”

Noem also disclosed that several other GOP primary contenders were invited to the “Monumental Leaders Rally” but chose not to attend.

“Tim Scott was asked, and he declined. Vivek [Ramaswamy] was invited, and he turned us down. Other candidates were asked, and all of them told us that they had better things to do,” she shared. She contrasted this with Trump’s eagerness to attend, noting, “But when President Trump was invited to come be with you tonight, he said, ‘I will be there.'”

Current national polling data from RealClearPolitics indicates that Trump has a commanding lead in the Republican primary race, leading by nearly 40 points.

People close to Noem have indicated that standing beside Trump during the rally was a strategic move to spark discussions of a future Trump-Noem ticket, according to information from two senior Republicans shared with the Associated Press.

The audience seemed to entertain this idea, with some holding up “Trump/Noem 2024” signs during the event.

In a Newsmax interview conducted the day before the rally, Noem was asked if she would consider being Trump’s VP should the opportunity arise. She answered, “Oh, absolutely.”

She elaborated, “I would in a heartbeat. Just because you respect the position and the person who asks you to do something and then see if you really believe that you could make a difference.” Noem argued that Trump would require a capable partner to recapture the presidency, stating, “Trump needs a strong partner if he’s going to take back the White House.”