Who are Kristi Noem's kids? Spotlight on guv's family after Corey Lewandowski scandal
The fallout continues for troubled Trump ally Corey Lewandowski, who has now been booted from his role with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. On September 30, the Governor announced that Lewandowski would no longer be associated in any capacity with her. The news comes just a day after Trump replaced Lewandowski with Pam Bondi as head of his MAGA Action PAC.
While Trump is no stranger to accusations of sexual misconduct, he is now finding many of his close aides to be in the same boat. On September 29, POLITICO broke the story of a female GOP contributor, who claims to have been sexually harassed by Lewandowski. Longtime Trump loyalist Flordia Rep. Matt Gaetz is also embroiled in a sex trafficking investigation. Many others in Trump's orbit are also facing legal troubles, from Alex Jones to Steve Bannon.
It's unclear who was behind the decision to cut Lewandowski, given that in the past the GOP has preferred to meet accusations with their own, and lies, rather than act on them. As the scandal continues to unfold, we thought now would be a good time to look at Noem's daughters, who may have played a role in the decision. We can't be sure without confirmation, but you should know that they are equally important people in South Dakota.
Kassidy Noem Peters
The elder daughter has decided to move away from politics and instead join her husband in business. Kassidy graduated from the University of Sioux Falls (USF), before obtaining a BA degree from South Dakota State (SDSU). According to her LinkedIn profile, she did briefly engage in politics, interning with her mother's Congressional campaign in 2013/14, and in the State Legislature in 2015. She also served as the President of the SDSU College Republicans.
Kassidy however divided to eventually go down a different path and began working as an appraiser. She eventually went on to found her own firm Kassidy Peters Appraisal with her husband, a business that is also under the scanner right now. In late September, it was reported that Gov. Noem forced through Kassidy's certification for a residential appraiser by summoning the head of the agency in July 2020. The Governor has refused to give the scandal any air though, with a spokesperson saying, "The Associated Press is disparaging the Governor’s daughter in order to attack the Governor politically."
Kassidy is married to Kyle Peters, a former member of the SD Governor's Office of Economic Development. Peters recently gave up his government job for a role at a consultant firm, leading the family to move from their home in Pierre to Watertown.
The Governor's second-born has decided to follow in her mother's footsteps with a career in politics. Like her sister, Kennedy too studied at the University of Sioux Falls and SDSU. She is currently pursuing an MBA from Belmont University. Over the past five years, Kennedy has built up considerable experience in politics. She has interned at Kevin McCarthy's office in 2016 and the Congressional Oversight and Government Reform Committee in 2017.
In 2018, Kennedy then joined her mother's campaign first as a Field Director, before working her way up to become Noem's Director of Finance. Over the years, she has run into many GOP bigwigs, like Mike Pence, and Marco Rubio. Unlike Kassidy, Kennedy has not yet been involved in any major scandals, working behind the scenes at the Governor's office. During her freshman year at USF, Kennedy's promising basketball career ended with a collision that left her with a broken back, an event she credits with her move into politics. "I didn’t want to quit basketball, but I wouldn’t have been able to truly be a part of my mom’s campaign or take this job at all," she said in a 2018 interview, calling it "a blessing in disguise."
With Noem planning a second run for Governor in 2022, Kennedy will no doubt have her hands full. It also means she's going to have to cut away any controversial figures. The closeness of the elections could have prompted Noem to ditch Lewandowski, who was an unpaid advisor. "Corey was always a volunteer, never paid a dime — campaign or official," Noem's communications director Ian Fury told The Washington Examiner.