Doug Burgum Expected To Announce Lt. Governor Pick


UPDATE: Burgum has announced his running mate, and it’s Watford City Mayor Brent Sanford.

This popped up on the Doug Burgum campaign Twitter feed this evening. I think it’s safe to say that the “special announcement” is the candidate’s pick for a running mate.

Burgum has said he will announce a running mate this week. He needs one to get on the June primary ballot, and that deadline is on April 11 at 4:00pm central time.

In fact, the nominating petition (which you can see here) requires that the governor and lieutenant governor candidates be named at the time it is circulated. So the window for Burgum to get this done is closing.

Though he only needs 300 signatures, which won’t be tough with a campaign as large and well-funded as his.

So the question is, who will it be?

I’ve written about the possibility of Dickinson-area state Rep. Vicki Steiner in the past, and certainly she seems to have been in the running, but this evening the state’s politicos are buzzing with another name.

Lyn James, the current mayor of Bowman, North Dakota.

Why James? Because she gave one of the endorsing speeches for Burgum at the NDGOP convention this last weekend. And she probably checks a lot of boxes for the candidate.

Having a woman on the ticket is good identity politics (it sucks, but that matters).

Having a leader from western North Dakota is good for Burgum too given that, to the extent he’s known statewide, he’s known as a Fargo/eastern North Dakota guy.

Also, James has standing as a local elected leader to speak to important policy issues (the state’s handling of western energy issues, local funding, etc.) without getting in the way of Burgum’s “I’m an outsider” schtick like, say, a state lawmaker would.

If I were laying down a bet, I’d pick James to be Burgum’s running mate.

But that’s just a guess.

Burgum’s opponent, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, picked state Senator Nicole Poolman of Bismarck as his running mate at the convention.