Dem-NPL Gov Candidate Doesn’t Want to Be Called a Democrat, Stumbles on Mask Mandate Question

Shelley Lenz, right, Democratic candidate for North Dakota governor, meets local voters during a picnic in June at Lincoln Park in Grand Forks. At left is Sheryll Weisenberger. (Forum News Service file photo)

MINOT, N.D. — If a candidate demands a mask mandate, shouldn’t they be prepared to tell you what the consequences would be for violating it?

Democratic-NPL gubernatorial candidate Shelley Lenz isn’t.

Monday I guest-hosted the “Jay Thomas Show” on WDAY AM970 and had nearly an hour-long conversation with Lenz.

I like Lenz. I think she’s an interesting candidate. I wasn’t impressed with her performance during our interview.

At least she showed up. I have been trying to organize Lenz and incumbent Republican Doug Burgum into a debate for my Plain Talk podcast, as I did earlier this year with the candidates in the U.S. House race, but Burgum demured. According to them, the one debate they have scheduled is enough.

Burgum and his people are probably making the right political calculation — they’re the odds-on favorite to win, so why take unnecessary chances? — but leadership is about more than campaign math.

Back to my conversation with Lenz, I expected to have some ideological disagreement with her, but what I didn’t expect was a struggle to clarify some of the most fundamental aspects of her campaign.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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