GOP group cancels Kristi Noem fundraiser over ‘death threats’ amid backlash over her memoir

A Republican group in Colorado said it canceled a fundraiser with South Dakota governor and potential Republican vice presidential candidate Kristi Noem after she reportedly detailed killing her young dog in her upcoming book.

Nancy Pallozzi, chairwoman of the Republican Party of Jefferson County, said in a statement Friday that the group’s fundraising dinner, which was scheduled to take place Saturday, was canceled “due to safety concerns” after the group, the governor and her staff, and the hotel where the meeting took place event received “numerous threats and/or death threats.”

“After a conversation late Wednesday with the governor’s office, we mutually decided that safety was the primary concern for everyone involved,” Pallozzi said. “The Denver West Marriott also received alarming comments and shared with us their deep concerns about the safety and security of those attending our event, other guests and their staff.”

Noem was confirmed to be a keynote speaker at the Jefferson County Republicans’ annual fundraiser in early April after the group sent her an invitation in January, Pallozzi said.

That was before The Guardian published an article late last month detailing Noem’s story of leading her 14-month-old dog, Cricket, to a gravel pit to be shot after concluding that it was “less than worthless” and was “untrainable”.

Pallozzi’s statement noted that her group “took no position on the public outcry over the governor’s book,” adding that Noem “must and will continue to stand up for our constitutional rights, our freedom and less government, which it platform is’. of the Republican Party.”

In a telephone interview, Pallozzi told NBC News the decision was not made lightly.

“We lost money because of this,” Pallozzi said. “This was supposed to be a fundraiser, but now we’ve lost thousands of dollars.”

Pallozzi said the group is “fully refunding” tickets and has 300 copies of Noem’s book, which the publisher gave special permission to be released at the event. Noem was also expected to sign and take photos.

The group continues to engage with Noem. It is not immediately clear whether the event with the governor will be rescheduled.

A spokesperson for Noem did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment Friday evening.

During a Fox News interview on Wednesday, Noem said the dog was “extremely dangerous.”

“It came from a family who thought she was way too aggressive,” Noem said, going on to say the dog was “butchering” a neighbor’s livestock the day it was killed.

Noem had initially responded to criticism of the passages about Cricket in a post on X Last week I wrote: “We love animals, but tough decisions like this happen all the time on a farm.” Noem’s social media response was written above a screenshot of the article from The Guardian, which included a copy of Noem’s book “No Going Back,” which will be released next week.

NBC News has not obtained a copy of Noem’s book or independently verified the Guardian’s story about Noem’s dog.

Noem is widely seen as one of Trump’s top choices for a running mate. The governor of South Dakota, who has been in power since 2019, was previously the state’s sole representative in Congress.