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Rounds could join Noem in support of Marco Rubio, Thune remains undecided

Presidential endorsements from the South Dakota Congressional delegation stood pat following the Iowa Caucus, but that could soon change. With Sen. Mike Rounds' top choice, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, dropping out of the race for the GOP ...

Presidential endorsements from the South Dakota Congressional delegation stood pat following the Iowa Caucus, but that could soon change.

With Sen. Mike Rounds' top choice, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, dropping out of the race for the GOP nomination on Monday, Rounds is considering his second choice of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Rubio has already earned the support of Rep. Kristi Noem, who endorsed the senator months before Monday's caucus in which Rubio finished in third place behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and businessman Donald Trump.

"I think that it's time for us to really have a leader that doesn't just talk the talk, but is willing to put forward some answers to our biggest challenges we face in this country," Noem said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.

Noem thought Rubio's performance in Iowa was strong despite the third-place finish, and she expects more people to rally around what she believes to be his optimistic message. She said she would offer her support for Rubio if it's needed before next week's New Hampshire primary.

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Rubio remains among a crowded field of Republican candidates, but the field has contracted since Iowa's caucus. Aside from Huckabee, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum both dropped out of the race.

Sen. John Thune, the third-ranking Senate Republican, has yet to announce his support for any of the remaining GOP candidates.

Following the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9, GOP candidates will compete for the support of South Carolina on Feb. 20 and Nevada on Feb. 23.

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