Brad Schmidt: Jack Dalrymple To Washington DC?


Dalrymple was appointed by then outgoing Gov. Hoeven to be his successor Now Gov. Dalrymple appointed Drew Wrigley to be his successor as Lt. Governor.  

Are you still with me? (I hope so, it’s not all that complicated)  

Well here we are, now nearly 5 years on down the road and just this week Jack Dalrymple announced that he will not be seeking re-election.  So the question becomes, what’s next?  What’s next for Jack, what’s next for Drew?  What’s next for the state of North Dakota, and what about the wild card in this whole gig, better known as Heidi Heitkamp?

I know you didn’t ask for them but I have some thoughts on the whole thing and I figured I’d share them with you anyway. Keep in mind this is just a theory and I have no inside knowledge whatsoever.  But it is a theory that I think makes sense.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]I believe that Jack Dalrymple has thoughts of making the same trek to Washington as did his predecessor.[/mks_pullquote]

First, I believe that Jack Dalrymple has thoughts of making the same trek to Washington as did his predecessor.  

There are 2 possibilities join this scenario.  The NDGOP knows that Jack Dalrymple having been a pretty popular governor has a better chance of unseating Heidi Heitkamp than any other candidate they put could forward and would likely defeat her quite handily.  

The other possible scenario is that his decision to not seek re-election entices Mrs. Heitkamp to return from D.C. and make an effort to be the first resident of the new mansion being built out in Bismarck.  Therefore, leaving her senate up for grabs in 2016.  In my opinion either scenario ends with both North Dakota senate seats being held by former governors.

Secondly,  I believe that Drew Wrigley will soon be announcing his candidacy for Governor of North Dakota.

Soon after he announces that candidacy Heidi will have to make the decision to either stay in Washington or return to her home state and attempt to occupy an office down the hall from where she served as ND Attorney General.  If she does return to North Dakota I think she would fight a pretty stiff uphill battle against Drew Wrigley.  

Drew is a nice guy, I’ve interviewed hm a couple of times on my radio show.  He’s likable, intelligent and well spoken.  Some would maybe even say he’d make a better governor than his current boss.  But again, whether he is challenged by Heitkamp or possibly another run by Ryan Taylor (or some other lesser known candidate), either storyline ends with Governor Wrigley in 2016.

So, to summarize, my theory is this; Dalrymple leaving the governor’s mansion is part of a plan to oust Heidi Heitkamp from her senate seat either by luring her away or just straight up defeating her.  I

t is also part of a plan that puts the governorship in to the capable hands of current Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley and protecting the office from being occupied by a well-known name with a (D) behind her name.  

If this is something that was not orchestrated to play out this way by the NDGOP, it should have been.  In 2016 the republican party in North Dakota has a chance maintain its leadership in nearly every statewide office and even take over the second senate seat in Washington.

But, they are going to have to play their cards right, they don’t want another Rick Berg type embarrassment.