This just in from surprise guest correspondent Russell Olson: Congresswoman Kristi Noem may have a new haircut!

Rep. Kristi Noem, Lincoln Day Dinner, Madison, South Dakota, April 9, 2012. Photo by Russell Olson, Wentworth

Rep. Kristi Noem speaks at Lake County Lincoln Day Dinner, Madison, SD, April 9, 2012. Photo by State Senator Russell Olson.

The Congresswoman spoke at tonight's GOP Lincoln Day Dinner in Madison. Don't blame Russ for the fuzzy photo: the lighting at Nicky's is atrocious. But from what I can make out, either Noem is sporting a hasty ponytail, or she's followed the example of her predecessor, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, and ditching the long locks for her re-election campaign.

Note the poster looming over Noem's shoulder. That's GOP candidate for Public Utilities Commission Kristie Fiegen. Great: now we have a Kristie and a Kristi on the ballot, and they both have short hair! Shouldn't the school superintendents be writing one of the candidates and telling her to grow her hair back or change her name or just quit so as not to confuse the voters?

Oops: I just checked Russ's snap of Fiegen from this evening's festivities: it looks like she is growing her hair out. But now neither Kristi(e) looks like her campaign poster! Arrgghh!!!

Next up from Olson: grainy images of plesiosaurs in Lake Madison... or maybe the Wentworth Sasquatch!

p.s.: Public Utilities Commissioner and candidate Chris Nelson still hasn't grown his mustache back. I'm telling you, Chris: that mustache would have won you darn near enough votes in West River whisker country to have beaten Noem in the 2010 primary!

Kristi Noem, 2007 Legislature mug shot

Kristi Noem, 2007 Legislature mug shot

Update 2012.04.14 09:06 MDT: The new 'do is really the old 'do, as attested by Noem's 2007 South Dakota Legislature mug shot.

Update 09:38 MDT: Congresswoman Noem tweets her own profile pic of her haircut, from Friday's visit to the Hot Springs Veterans Administration hospital, where Noem expressed her support for government-run health care. No word on whether the hospital provides its vets with good haircuts.