It seems clear that both Republicans and Democrats think incumbent Al Jaeger has been Secretary of State for long enough.
Now state Rep. Josh Boschee of Fargo, a Democrat, has announced that he’s running for the office as well.
#BREAKING: Rep. Joshua Boschee will run for Secretary of State for state democrats adding another potential opponent for current SOS Al Jaeger #NDpol #NorthDakota #Statepolitics pic.twitter.com/F3nY1kE9W8
— Bo Evans KFYRTV (@BoKnows_90) January 29, 2018
Democrats have struggled with candidate recruitment in the past, but Boschee is a strong candidate. He’s North Dakota’s first openly gay lawmaker, and he’s adept at playing the identity politics game to parlay that status into lots and lots of money from national left-wing networks.
This race just got competitive in a big way.
Meanwhile the griping about Jaeger’s job performance, from Democrats and Republicans alike, has gotten louder over the years. Gardner’s challenge to Jaeger is a manifestation of that, alongside Boschee’s announced campaign.
This probably presents Republicans with something of a dilemma. Do they stick with Jaeger, despite his declining job performance, hoping that name recognition and North Dakota’s love of incumbents generally and Republicans specifically holds off Boschee? Or do they go with a fresh new face like Gardner who is untested having never run for public office before?