I’ll admit it. I’m shocked.
Text of the press release which went out this evening below. “Pretty shocking,” a Democrat friend tells me tonight. “All indications were that she was in.”
No kidding. Vogel has held at least two fundraising events for an exploratory committee, one of which was attended by Senator Heidi Heitkamp. She has a campaign website, and was actively campaigning on social media.
It seemed clear she was running. Maybe Vogel wasn’t getting much monetary support. Very strange.
I’m not sure where this leaves the Democrats. Either she’s moving out of the way for some other candidate, or Democrats are seriously up a creek. My Democrat source tells me there is not a whiff of another candidate.
“Once she was in it cleared the path,” my source said. “Somebody will get in, just will take a bit longer for them to hit the gas on a campaign.”
It’s intersting to me that Vogel describes herself as a “Nonpartisan Leaguer” who will fight “for the values of the NPL.” The Nonpartisan League merged with the Democrats many moons ago, but of late there’s definitely been hints of a sharp divide between factions within the party.
Back in September former Lt. Governor Lloyd Omdahl, key figure in the NPL movement, lamented that the Democrat party of today forgot to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the movement’s founding.
In November former Democrat-NPL chairman Bob Valeu was in the media criticizing Senator Heidi Heitkamp – the only Democrat to hold statewide elected office in North Dakota – for being too moderate.
There definitely seem to be some schisms among Democrats, which makes the wording of Vogel’s press release seem like a message of sorts.
Perhaps today’s Democrats are too far to the left for the Vogel/Heitkamp generation of Democrats. But that’s just the read of an outsider.
Here’s the press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2016
Bismarck, ND – This evening, Sarah Vogel advised the Sarah Vogel for Governor Exploratory Committee and the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party that she will not seek the Democratic-NPL endorsement for Governor in 2016.
“After careful consideration, research, and meeting with everyday North Dakotans across the state I have decided not to run for Governor. I believe I am in a better position to serve the people of North Dakota from the private sector – as an attorney, a member of many statewide, regional, and national boards, and as an advocate for once again making North Dakota a safe and healthy place to live and raise a family.”
“I come from a long line of Nonpartisan Leaguers, and will continue to be a fierce advocate for the values of the NPL. Their ideals of a government that works hard for all North Dakotans – farmers and ranchers, workers, women, students and Native Americans – rather than bowing to out-of-state pressures, still ring true today. There are ways to strive for these ideals besides running for office and fundraising for television commercials.”
“Thank you to the many supporters who offered their time, counsel, energy, and financial support to the Exploratory Committee. It is very humbling to receive such encouragement from old friends and new, who like me, believe that North Dakota can do better and North Dakotans deserve better leadership.”
Further inquiries can be directed to the SV4G Exploratory Committee at runsarahrunND@gmail.com
Sarah Vogel is the twice elected Commissioner of Agriculture in North Dakota, serving with distinction from 1989-1996. Since leaving public office she has been practicing law in Bismarck, ND.