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Colorado GOP fundraiser with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem canceled amid fallout over dog-killing admission

From left, former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens as North Dakota Governor Kristi Noem speaks during a Buckeye Values PAC Rally in Vandalia, Ohio, on March 16, 2024. (Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

A fundraising dinner for the Jefferson County Republican Party slated to feature South Dakota governor and vice-presidential hopeful Kristi Noem has been canceled because of safety concerns amid fallout from her admission in a new book that she killed a family dog over behavioral issues, party officials announced Friday.

The cancellation also comes amid new criticisms of Noem’s book “No Going Back,” as experts dismiss two meetings the governor claims to have had with world leaders — including North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and French President Emmanuel Macron — as “dubious” if not outright impossible, The Dakota Scout reported Wednesday.

The timing of inviting Noem to speak at the group’s annual fundraiser dinner set for Saturday evening seemed perfect when the Jefferson County GOP reached out in January, as it was just prior to the release date for the governor’s new book, party chair Nancy Pallozzi said in a statement released Friday.

Noem was elected as the first female governor of South Dakota in 2018 and “is on President Trump’s short list for Vice President,” organizers wrote on an event page that has since been taken down.

“We had no prior knowledge of the contents of the book when we invited her,” Pallozzi stated.

In late April, Noem began to receive backlash over a section in her soon-to-be-released book where she described killing her 14-month-old dog over behavioral problems.

The incident took place 20 years ago, but Noem’s retelling sparked criticism from Republicans, Democrats and dog experts alike, the Associated Press reported.

In the past few days, numerous threats and death threats have been made to the party, the Denver West Marriot and to the South Dakota governor and her staff, Pallozzi stated Friday.

“We understood there was a planned organized protest outside of the hotel, led by Progress Now,” Pallozzi said in Friday’s statement. “I felt that our event would be negatively impacted, and we could not take the risk that those who made threats would cause physical harm.”

According to Pallozzi, the last threat the county organization received was a voicemail message warning that there would be “guns at the protest and people might get hurt.”

The Jefferson County Republican Party is working to plan a different event in the near future.


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