Despite plans to run on the alleged mishandling of oil and gas regulation in the state, North Dakota Democrats have struggled to find candidates in the western part of the state. You know, where the oil impacts are the most dramatic.
So far, for the fifteen legislative seats that represent the oil patch that are on the ballot this year, Democrats have found just three candidates, among them a district chairwoman, Mandy Kubik who just moved to Dickinson from Fargo and jumped in the race only after she told the local newspaper she’d find candidates…and then failed to find any candidates.
Now it’s clear why another of those candidates – 20 year old Dickinson State University sophomore Maddison Voigt – is in the race. Again, Democrats couldn’t find anyone else (emphasis mine):
While Voigt’s age might throw some off, she said that doesn’t matter as much as her goal to represent the district.
“I wouldn’t be alone. I’d have the voice of the people,” Voigt said. “I don’t think it matters your age — if you can represent someone well you’re unstoppable no matter how old you are.”
It might even be a benefit, she said — “I don’t know how to work the system like some people do.”
Rose Hansen, Voigt’s aunt, said her niece has interest in politics — plus, there’s no one else running as a Democrat.
“She says they can’t find anyone to run in District 39 on this ticket and she just wants to make people more aware that we need to stand up and have a voice,” Hansen said. “It’s the people’s Legislature, you know?”
That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement.
In related news, Democrats did add three legislative candidates statewide, though they still have more than half of all the legislative races statewide without a candidate with just four days until deadline. In District 13 (West Fargo) Landis Larson has filed with the Secretary of State to run for the state Senate. In that same district, Scott Brand has filed to run for the state House.
In District 23 (south of Highway 2 between Devils Lake and Grand Forks), Austin Langley has filed to run for the state House.
Democrats now have a total of 35 candidates, including 10 incumbents, for 72 legislative races with, as I mentioned before, 37 races with no candidates.
Republicans have 65 candidates (49 incumbents). Outside of the solidly Democrat Districts 9 and 11 which are unlikely to see any Republican challengers, the NDGOP has just one race, for the House, in District 45 unfilled. I’m told that race should be filled soon.
The deadline for candidates to get on the June primary ballot is on April 7th, just days away.
Here’s our most recent list of candidates.