Matt Ruby is the son of state Rep. Dan Ruby, a Republican from Minot-area District 38. Ruby is also running for the Legislature himself this cycle in District 40.
Per screenshots of Facebook posts first published by a left-wing website based in Fargo Ruby appears to have bragged about drunk driving and also insulted a police officer who works in Washburn, a town south of Minot.
The post in question was from four years ago, posted after 3:00am on June 17, 2012, and has Ruby bragging about his prowess while behind the wheel inebriated.
Ruby also had something less than flattering to say about a cop in Washburn in a March, 2014 post:
The website also pointed out a post to Ruby’s wall from another Facebook user including a racist meme depicting President Barack Obama as a monkey:
I spoke with Rep. Dan Ruby this afternoon who confirmed to me that the Dana Ruby in the above meme is Matthew Ruby’s wife. He declined to comment further.
“He’s very thorough. He’s very good at his job,” Matt Ruby told me in reference to the Washburn cop post when I spoke to him this evening. “When I called him a dick I just meant he’s thorough. I was trying to make a funny and sarcastic post.”
“As far as the hunting, I have never in my life went hunting and drank,” he said in reference another screenshot of a post in which he said he’d like to get a cold beer and go shooting. “I definitely made some stupid decisions when I was younger, but I’ve never went hunting and been drinking.”
As for the meme shared by his wife, “I don’t know how I’m getting judged for something that was shared by someone else,” he said. “It was one of those things that has been shared all over.”
Ruby said he’s not sure if he wrote the drunk driving post.
“I don’t even remember posting something like that,” he told me, noting that he’s careful with alcohol because of his service in the North Dakota National Guard. “My whole career they’ve been trying to break the stigma that they’re fine with drunk driving. They’re basically on a two strike policy, one strike if you’re a sergeant, ” he said adding that “you’re automatically out of the National Guard” if you use up the “strikes.”
“I would never have posted something that dumb,” Ruby continued. “I’m not a drunk driver. I’ve never driven drunk. I don’t want to say I never posted it, but I don’t remember it.”
Ruby told me that he’s served in the National Guard for the last seven years.
Roz Leighton, executive director of the North Dakota Republican Party, condemned the meme posting.
“The meme is inappropriate, offensive and inexcusable, there is no place for racism on anyone’s Facebook page, let alone one of our candidate’s,” she told me this evening.
“As for the drunk driving post, if we’re going to hold every candidate accountable for what they posted on their social media pages in their late teens, or early twenties we’re going to have a hard time finding qualified candidates,” she continued. “It was dumb that he posted it, and dumb if he did it.”
The website which first published the screenshots is called Mean Read and is edited by Adrian Glass-Moore. He described himself to me as an independent journalist not affiliated with any group or organization who publishes the website in his spare time.