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Report: Sutton in-laws donate to gov. opponent Noem

RAPID CITY -- Two women related by marriage to South Dakota Democratic governor candidate Billie Sutton gave a combined $2,500 to support Republican nominee Kristi Noem, which Sutton's campaign manager says is not surprising given the family's GO...

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RAPID CITY - Two women related by marriage to South Dakota Democratic governor candidate Billie Sutton gave a combined $2,500 to support Republican nominee Kristi Noem, which Sutton's campaign manager says is not surprising given the family's GOP roots.

According to a federal campaign finance report filed Monday, Linda Lillibridge, of Burke, gave $500 to a Noem fundraiser featuring President Donald Trump in Sioux Falls last month. Lillibridge is the grandmother of Sutton's wife, Kelsea Sutton.

The report also shows that Kelsea Sutton's great aunt Cindy Lillibridge, of Bonesteel, gave $2,000 to Noem's fundraiser.

Noem's campaign tells the Rapid City Journal that the two women have since given a combined $17,000 in additional contributions. Linda Lillibridge gave an additional $9,000, while Cindy Lillibridge contributed an additional $8,000, which will show up in a future finance report.

Cindy Lillibridge said Tuesday she will vote for Noem, currently South Dakota's lone U.S. House member.

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"We love Billie and Kelsea dearly, but we can't support the Democratic Party," she said.

In a statement, Sutton's campaign manager, Suzanne Jones Pranger, said the Lillibridge family "has supported Republican candidates for decades," so it's no surprise they would attend when the U.S. president visits South Dakota.

"Sutton marrying into a well-known conservative family shows how truly bipartisan Billie is and how he has never put politics before personal relationships," the statement said.

Noem's campaign manager, Justin Brasell, said in a statement that Noem "is grateful for the support she's received from those who know Billie Sutton best."

The Sept. 7 fundraiser featuring Trump raised about $520,000.

Related Topics: KRISTI NOEMELECTION 2018
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