Democrat Ben Hanson Hangs up House Campaign


Former Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider may have won the endorsement from delegates to the North Dakota Democratic Party’s state convention over the weekend, but in North Dakota the actual party nominees are chosen on the June ballot.

After the convention, clearly a little bitter at losing to Schneider’s last-minute (and Heitkamp-backed) blitz campaign, former lawmaker Ben Hanson said he was considering taking his race to the June ballot. A decision that would no doubt have divided a party that is so marginalized in state politics it can hardly afford faction.

But today, in a Medium post, Hanson endorsed Schneider’s campaign:

“My good friend Mac is going to pick up where this campaign left off, traveling the state to visit with North Dakotans and doing the work to bring victory for Democrats up and down the ticket,” said Hanson. “I know Mac’s work ethic, his commitment to our state and I know his heart’s in the right place — that’s why I am endorsing him as the candidate to take back North Dakota’s lone House seat.”

“Mac and I share the same values,” continued Hanson, “and that’s why I know he’ll be the kind of congressman North Dakota deserves. We worked together to fight for Medicaid expansion in the legislature and we know it’s worth fighting to protect. We know that Social Security and Medicare are promises we must keep to those who pay into the programs over a lifetime of hard work. And we know that at a time of low commodity prices, the president is hurting our farmers and ranchers with an unnecessary trade war.”

The post is basically a press release, and includes this from Schneider as well:

“I want to thank Ben for his support and to congratulate him on the hard-fought campaign he ran,” said Schneider. “Everything he did was with integrity and class. Too often our politics are dominated by cynicism and personal attacks but his campaign was one of ideas, not insults. Ben and his team put together the kind of grassroots campaign that’s built for the long haul. I look forward to working together with Ben to keep the grassroots engaged across the state.”

It’s funny that Schneider credited Hanson with not resorting to personal attacks. Schneider has hardly been in the race long enough for that sort of thing.

Regardless, Schneider is the candidate Senator Heitkamp wanted, and in a tough re-election year the Senator can hardly afford dissent.

It seems pretty clear that Hanson was told to get in line.