SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Rep. Kristi Noem, who swept into Congress on a Republican wave two years ago, defeated Democratic challenger Matt Varilek on Tuesday to win a second term as South Dakota’s lone member of the U.S. House.

Noem, a 40-year-old rancher and former state lawmaker from Castlewood, drew national attention in 2010 when she defeated Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, then considered a rising star in the Democratic Party.

Noem went on to become a leader in the freshman class of Republican House members, and this year’s election in many ways became a referendum on the competing policies of Democratic President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans.

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