South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem Captivates Audience with Keynote Speech, Presented with Custom Henry Rifle
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (left) receiving a custom engraved Henry Big Boy lever-action rifle from Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin (right) at the 2021 Republican Party of Arkansas Reagan-Rockefeller Dinner on June 4, 2021. (Courtesy of Marvin Winston Photography)
As keynote speaker of The Republican Party of Arkansas’ (RPA) Reagan-Rockefeller Dinner, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) was presented with a custom engraved Henry Big Boy lever-action rifle on June 4, 2021. The presentation makes Noem the most recent recipient of the rifle built by American firearms manufacturer Henry Repeating Arms specifically for the RPA with their logo engraved in the right side of the walnut buttstock.
Speculation is rising that Noem could run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, and she would not be the first RPA Henry rifle recipient with sights set on the presidency.
For over a decade, the RPA has honored their headline speakers with the Henry .44 Magnum rifle. Past recipients include former president Donald Trump, a candidate at the time in 2015, Senator Rand Paul, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, former New York State Judge Jeanine Pirro, and 44th Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. These gifts of modern-day Henry rifles draw inspiration from a gold-mounted Henry rifle presented to Abraham Lincoln in 1862.
Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin unveiled the rifle from under a red velvet curtain, and the crowd of over 500 attendees cheered on their feet as Noem eyed the firearm for the first time and picked it up.
“Governor Kristi Noem is an avid outdoorswoman and a hunter through and through,” says Patrick Rhodes, RPA event volunteer and liaison to Henry Repeating Arms. “Once she saw that rifle, there was no holding her back from getting her hands on it as quickly as possible. The excitement was real.”