Tonight I can report that Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley, a Republican who is among those considering a 2016 run for Governor, has acknowledged having an extra-marital affair with a Bismarck woman.
“Many months ago I went to Kathleen and confessed that I was unfaithful,” Wrigley told me this afternoon in a phone interview, referring to his wife. “It was a very difficult time and we turned immediately to our long-time pastor and also professional guidance and prayer and a close circle of friends.”
“In the ensuing months we worked our way through a very painful crucible,” Wrigley continued. “I don’t know how else to describe it. We have worked so hard to reconstitute the trust that I damaged. Today all these many months later Kathleen and I stand together on ground that has been formed by faith and our love for each other and our love for our amazing family. We are supported all the way by the love of friends and family as well.”
Wrigley declined to offer specifics about the affair. He wouldn’t specify when the affair began, or when it ended, but did say that his wife has been aware of it for months. The woman is married. I reached out to her husband for comment on Thursday, August 27, but he would not respond to specific questions about this situation.
I am not naming the couple as they are private citizens not connected with state government. I was first made aware of the affair through an anonymous email tip.
“Never,” Wrigley said when asked if he had official business with the couple at any time.
Asked about how this impacts his political plans, Wrigley said that he and his wife have not yet made a decision about a 2016 campaign.
“Today is certainly not about an election,” he said. “We’re going to leave that for another day. I’m a husband and a father first which is a long way ahead of anything else Whatever course we elect to follow Kathleen and I are choosing that course together. We have a decision to make and we will make every one of those decisions together.”
“To be able to relay that message to you today after all these months is really a sign of the blessing we’ve been able to rely on in a very difficult time in our marriage,” he added.
Wrigley also said that the affair has not impacted his job performance as Lt. Governor. “Of course not,” he said when asked if he planned to resign. “This is a strictly private matter. My work as Lt. Governor has been and remains unaffected by this. While it is a very difficult time personally I continue to carry out my responsibilities and to pour my professional energies into my work as Lt. Governor.”
Wrigley was appointed U.S. Attorney for North Dakota by President George W. Bush in 2001, a position he served in until 2009. He was first appointed Lt. Governor by Jack Dalrymple and was sworn in on December 7th, 2010. He was elected as Dalrymple’s running mate in the 2012 election cycle.