Bryon Noem is the husband of Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. He grew up on a farm in a small South Dakota town and he now runs an insurance agency and has coached basketball. The Noems have three children. Noem has been the state’s first gentleman since 2019, when his wife was elected as South Dakota governor.
On September 29, 2021, Kristi Noem responded to rumors of an affair being spread on social media by tweeting, “These rumors are total garbage and a disgusting lie. These old, tired attacks on conservative women are based on a falsehood that we can’t achieve anything without a man’s help. I love Bryon. I’m proud of the God-fearing family we’ve raised together. Now I’m getting back to work.”
The conservative website American Greatness first reported on the rumors that Noem was having an affair with former Trump adviser and GOP strategist Corey Lewandowski. Bryon Noem and Lewandowski, who is also married with children, have not commented on the political scandal.
Lewandowski runs the pro-Trump Make America Great Again Action super PAC and has been advising Noem amid speculation she could replace Mike Pence on a possible Trump presidential ticket in 2024, according to The New York Times.
Here’s what you need to know about Bryon Noem, Kristi Noem’s husband:
1. Bryon Noem Grew Up on His Family’s Farm in Bryant, South Dakota, & He Graduated From Northern State University
Bryon Noem was born December 18, 1969, in Bryant, South Dakota, in Hamlin County, and was raised on his family’s farm, according to his biography on the South Dakota state website. He graduated from Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, according to his state bio.
Bryon Noem’s parents, Al Noem and Sharon Noem, still live in South Dakota and have been featured on social media by Kristi Noem during her campaigns for political office.
Bryon Noem said on the governor’s website, “I’m privileged to play a role in this effort, too. As First Gentleman, my mission is quite simple: I want to celebrate South Dakota and all the things that make it special. I want to remind people of the hidden gems in our small towns – the places off the beaten path. These hometowns are the heartbeat of our state, and I want to highlight them. I want to remind people that these are some of the best places to raise a family or to start a business. This is our culture. This is who we are. This is South Dakota.”
2. Bryan Noem & Kristi Arnold Noem Married in 1992
Noem is three years older than his wife. They both attended high school in Bryant, South Dakota. They were married in 1992 in Watertown, South Dakota, when Kristi Arnold Noem was 20. She was a student at South Dakota State University at the time and they had been dating for a few years, according to her campaign’s website.
“Bryon often says the best decision he ever made was marrying Kristi Arnold – a girl from his high school who just wanted to become a farmer and rancher,” the governor’s website says. “Together, they have operated a farm and ranch, opened an ice cream shop, helped manage a family restaurant, and pursued numerous other business venture.”
Kristi Noem wrote a post about her husband in 2019 during her first year in office as governor, about how it was tough to run the state and be with her family:
At our house, Bryon completes many of our chores. I am gone a lot, and he is left to handle all things related to kids, ranch, and house. I know that I am blessed to have a husband who recognizes how wonderful it is for me to come back to a clean house and tended family, and he tries to make that happen. But over the years, what has made me love him more each day is the way he loves our kids.
You see, I married Bryon because I loved him and wanted to build a life with him, but at the time I really had no idea what kind of a father he would be. I had a sneaking suspicion he would be a great dad because he has a wonderful father who is a great role model. Bryon loves the Lord and understands the responsibility that God gives to men to lead their families.
Amid reports of Noem having an affair with Lewandowski, her former policy director, Maggie Seidel, told the Washington Examiner, “There’s plenty to disagree with Noem on. or one, I think it’s outrageous that she continues to affiliate herself with Corey Lewandowski, but unequivocally, there’s no evidence that she stepped out of the marriage. It’s just an outrageous lie.” Seidel called Lewandowski a “bum,” and added, “Under no circumstances would I say that she stepped out on the marriage.”
3. The Noems Have 2 Daughters, Kassidy Noem Peters & Kennedy Noem, & a Son, Booker Noem, & Their Daughter, Kassidy, Is at the Center of a Political Controversy
The Noems are the parents of three children, two daughters, Kassidy Noem Peters and Kennedy Noem, and a son Booker Noem. They also have a grandson, Kassidy’s daughter, Adeline “Addie” West Peters, who was born in June 2021. Krisi Noem wrote on Instagram about her husband and children:
As the years went by and the kids were born, his actions revealed to me how he viewed fatherhood. He served. He gave Kassidy her first bath. In fact, my mom came to stay with us a few days after she was born and after a few hours she came to me and said, ‘I might as well go home. Bryon won’t let me do anything.’
When Kennedy was a baby, she had reflux so bad, everyone was reluctant to hold her because of the spit up bath she was sure to give them. But her dad held her constantly and thought it was “cute.”
Booker was such a sick little boy with so many breathing problems he needed multiple inhalers, medications, and constant trips to the hospital. Bryon prayed over him every night, asking God to heal our little boy.
When you look at our family home videos, you will find they were all taken by Bryon. I’m not sure it ever occurred to me to document those busy years. Yet there are hours and hours of video of the kids playing, talking, and sometimes just watching TV! It is almost as if he knew how special those moments were and wanted to save them for me to enjoy when I decided to slow down enough to appreciate them.
Earlier this month, Bryon walked Kassidy down the aisle and prayed over her as she began her new life with our new son-in-law, Kyle. We’re so proud of the strong, smart, and kind woman Kassidy has become, and I’m so glad she picked someone to marry who has a heart of service like her dad.
Kennedy Noem is a graduate student at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, and she has worked in politics, including as an intern in Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s office, as a policy analyst for her mother and as her mother’s gubernatorial campaign director of finance, according to her LinkedIn page. Booker Noem is a recent high school graduate and college student who is headed to Discipleship Training School, according to his mother’s Instagram.
Kassidy Peters is married to Kyle Peters, an agribusiness and development consultant at A1 Development solutions in Sioux Falls, according to his LinkedIn. Kyle Peters previously worked in the governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Kassidy is at the center of a political scandal in South Dakota. According to The Associated Press, an investigation is underway into whether her mother used her office to influence her Kassidy’s efforts to obtain a state real estate appraiser’s license.
On September 29, 2021, Kristi Noem tweeted about the scandal surrounding her daughter, “I never asked for special treatment for Kassidy. Others went through the same process that Kassidy did. Here are the facts: I have heard for years how difficult it is to become an appraiser in South Dakota, making it harder for South Dakotans to purchase a home. I have been working for years to fix that process, and I signed legislation to that effect this past session.”
She previously tweeted, “Listen I get it. I signed up for this job. But now the media is trying to destroy my children. This story is just another example of the double standard that exists with the media… going after conservatives and their kids while ignoring Liberals #AskTheBigGuy”
4. Bryon Noem Runs an Insurance Agency in His Hometown & Coaches High School Basketball & He Has Made the State’s Small Towns His Focus
Bryon Noem runs Noem Insurance in Bryant and is also a high school basketball coach of the Hamlin High School Chargers, according to the governor’s website. He previously worked on his family’s farm and launched other business ventures with his wife. He worked at Bryant State Bank as an insurance agent before purchasing the bank’s insurance business, turning it into his agency. His agency focuses on crop insurance.
Bryon Noem has made small towns a focus of his efforts as first gentleman of South Dakota, according to the governor’s website. “I am proud to be from rural South Dakota. It’s where I learned the values of hard work and self-reliance, where Kristi and I chose to raise our kids, where we started an insurance business and hunting lodge, and where my family has farmed and ranched for a century. But many small towns like ours are struggling today. Class sizes are dropping. Businesses can’t afford to stay open. And fewer kids are coming home to farm or ranch,” his website said.
“While South Dakota has grown by more than 100,000 people since 2000, rural populations have decreased. Seeing our larger communities flourish is exciting, but I want to make sure we don’t lose South Dakota’s rural culture either,” Noem said on the governor’s website. “I want to remind people that these are some of the best places to raise a family or start a business. I want to show that our way of life here is worth celebrating and promoting. I want to listen to peoples’ stories and learn from their experiences, then share them with others.” Bryon Noem added:
I want to highlight the good things that are happening in our smaller communities and listen to people tell stories about their hometowns. In our world today, I think we’ve gotten away from just listening. I want to bring that back. Whether it’s hearing the stories of a veteran over morning coffee in a café… shooting hoops with the mayor and hearing about the good and tough times a town has gone through… eating ice cream and learning about the heritage of a community… our hometowns have stories to tell and I want everyone in South Dakota to hear them.
He said, “In the last ten years or so, Kristi and I have been able to meet so many incredible people across South Dakota. It’s easy to think the grass is always greener somewhere else, but when it comes down to it, I truly believe that the people of South Dakota are the most kind, genuine people you’ll ever meet. And every person, every community has a story. I want people here to learn more about their own state, and I want people outside to learn how great South Dakota is. It’s my mission to uncover some of these hidden gems and celebrate the incredible value our small towns bring to our state.”
5. Bryon Noem’s 18 Traffic Citations Since 1989, Including 11 Speeding Tickets, & Kristi Noem’s 27 Driving Offenses, Became a Political Issue During His Wife’s Congressional Run in 2010
In 2010, while Kristi Noem was first running for Congress, her driving record, and also her husband’s, became part of the attacks on her. Kristi Noem apologized for her history of traffic citations, including 27 driving offenses, while the Rapid City Journal also noted that brian Noem had 18 traffic citations between 1989 and 2010, including 11 speeding tickets.
Kristi Noem told the newspaper, “These traffic violations were the result of haste and carelessness on my part, and I apologize. Trying to make up time on a flat, empty country highway is never an excuse to ignore the speed limit. While all the deserved fines and penalties have been paid, I have to work on setting a better example going forward.” Noem also missed court appearances or failed to pay fines on time seven times, leading to two warrants for her arrest, the newspaper reported.
In a TV ad released during his wife’s run for governor in 2018, Bryon Noem said, “The thing about Kristi I admire the most is her work ethic. It doesn’t matter what she’s doing; if she’s fixing fence, saddling a horse, or working in Congress, nobody will outwork her. She doesn’t quit until she’s done, and that’s the way she’s always been.”