PIERRE (AP) – Two members of Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration are taking a leave of absence to work on her reelection campaign.
Communications director Ian Fury and director of operations Ben Koisti will be moving to paid positions on Noem’s campaign beginning on June 24, Fury said in an email to state employees Friday.
“I wanted to update you all on some changes that are coming to the Governor’s communications team. Starting on June 24, I will be taking a leave of absence from state government through Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11). As you are doubtless aware, Governor Noem is in the midst of her reelection campaign, and I will be working on that end for the time being,” Fury wrote.
Fury indicated that he and Koisti plan to return to the administration if Noem is reelected. Fury clarified that although he and Koisti will be paid by the campaign, their leave from state government will be unpaid.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Tony Mangan will fill in for Fury during his absence.
Another member of Noem's communications staff is also leaving. Jordan Overturf is moving back to Texas to be closer to family. His last day with the administration will be July 5.
Noem is being challenged in her reelection campaign by Rep. Jamie Smith, the Democratic nominee for governor from Sioux Falls who currently serves as House minority leader.