SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Newly minted congressional candidate Matt Varilek acknowledges he faces a tough challenge against Republican Rep. Kristi Noem in the race for South Dakota’s lone U.S. House seat.
But Varilek says he can overcome Noem’s advantage as an incumbent in a heavily Republican state because he will appeal to middle-class voters on tax and budget issues.
Varilek won the Democratic nomination to face Noem with nearly 72 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary against Jeff Barth.
Varilek criticizes Noem for supporting a move to privatize Medicare and for failing to show up at House Agriculture Committee hearings.
Noem argues she is working for farmers and other South Dakotans. She says she missed some Agriculture Committee meetings because she had to be in other committees.
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