MINOT, N.D. — At the dawn of every new cycle North Dakota’s political parties reorganize themselves.
Local, district-level party committees elect new leadership, and then that leadership elects leaders at the statewide level.
Normally this process plays out quietly, with little fanfare outside of the picayune rivalries and intrigues of deeply local politicking. This spring, things were different.
Republican district committees across the state saw their normally pacific reorganization meetings infiltrated by activists. Some were political veterans, others newcomers who showed a degree of bewilderment about what they’d been caught up in. Many of each category were organized by Minot-based district chairman Jared Hendrix through his political consulting entity.
Hendrix, who came to North Dakota as a part of one of former Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s quixotic campaigns for the presidency, is also an organizing influence behind the Legislature’s Bastiat Caucus of Trump-aligned lawmakers.
The goal of the movement he’s helped stoke has been a takeover of the leadership of the North Dakota Republican Party.
Yet despite the anger and furor at some of the local reorganizations — one tactic implemented has been to censure lawmakers for voting against Bastiat-backed bills and for the expulsion of Bastiat lawmaker Luke Simons amid accusations of sexual harassment — the statewide NDGOP seems headed toward a relatively placid reorganization meeting.