Last week North Dakota Democrats said they’d be announcing a candidate for their final empty slot on the statewide ballot, Secretary of State.
According to reliable sources, I can report that the candidate will be April Fairfield, a former member of the North Dakota House and Senate from Eldridge (west of Jamestown) who now lives in Bismarck. Fairfield will be the Democrats’ westernmost candidate on the statewide ballot in a year in which the party hopes to campaign on what they see as the plight of western North Dakota.
Of their other candidates, Agriculture Commissioner candidate Ryan Taylor is from Towner, about 50 miles east of Minot, and the rest of Democrats’ statewide candidates are from Fargo and Grand Forks.
So far, Democrats have zero legislative candidates in the oil patch west of Bismarck.
According to her bio page on the North Dakota legislature website, Fairfield served in the state House from 1992 to 2002, and the state Senate from 2002 to 2005, after which she didn’t run for re-election. The bio says she got a Bachelor of Arts from Jamestown College, and was a founding member of Midwest Progressive Elected Officials Network and Democratic Leadership Institute. Most recently, according to the SAB archives, Fairfield has been “poormongering” during this time of oil-and-agricutlure-drivenstate prosperity.
Farifield will take on Republican incumbent Al Jaeger who has be in office since 1992, the same year Jay Leno took over hosting duties at The Tonight Show, but in recent years has been plagued by a number of mistakes in his office which include a significant vote count error and an IT project that has dragged on for nearly a decade while consuming millions of dollars.
Earlier this month Bob Valeu, who chairs the North Dakota Democrat party, blasted Jaeger and Republicans over new voter ID laws and their application at the voting booth. I would expect Fairfield’s campaign to be based on the voter ID issue and Jaeger’s other flubs.