Arkansas GOP Paid $15,000 For Kristi Noem’s Flight To A Fundraiser

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) addresses the virtual Republican National Convention in August 2020.

Photo Courtesy of the Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Committee

The Arkansas Republican Party paid $15,000 for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) to fly to a fundraiser, according to a Federal Election Commission filing released Wednesday.  

Noem delivered the keynote speech at the Arkansas GOP’s Reagan-Rockefeller Day dinner in Benton, 25 miles southwest of Little Rock, on June 4. 

The average commercial airfare in 2020 for flights originating in Pierre, home of the South Dakota governor’s mansion, was considerably cheaper, just $455, according to the Department of Transportation. Commercial flights between Pierre and Little Rock currently go for $550 to $810 on Kayak.com.  

In addition to footing the bill for a $15,000 flight, the Arkansas GOP thanked Noem by presenting with her a .44 magnum Henry Big Boy lever-action rifle, which retails for $1,000. The gun manufacturer touted the gift with a photo of Noem holding her new gun. 

The Arkansas GOP charged $150 per ticket to the dinner and another $250 to attend a photo reception with Noem, according to the The Saline Courier. The dinner, which was supposed to include about 600 people, sold out,  according to an attendee. 

Spokespeople for the Arkansas GOP have not responded to inquiries. Noem’s communications director did not provide details about the governor’s travel, other than to confirm that the $15,000 flight was an in-kind contribution. 

The Republican Party of Arkansas paid $15,000 for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s air travel to a fundraising dinner.

FEC/Republican Party of Arkansas

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Zach Everson

I took an unusual route to get here. In a past life, I worked as a travel and food writer, which is how I got the assignment in 2016 to cover the grand opening of the

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