Former staffer for Gov. Burgum texts mocking messages to Bastiat legislative candidate


“The Pioneer Family” stands in front of the North Dakota State Capitol on July 14, 2016, in Bismarck. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

MINOT, N.D. — The Republican legislative primaries here in North Dakota are not just a heated competition between warring philosophies — traditional conservative Republicans versus a new breed of Trumpy culture warrior populists loosely affiliated with the Bastiat Caucus in the Legislature — but they’ve gotten deeply personal as well.

Ryan Eckroth is a part of a wave of legislative candidates from that latter group, and he’s seeking the NDGOP’s nomination for state Senate in District 35, which is in the Bismarck area.

His opponent is Sean Cleary, a former staffer for Sen. John Hoeven and Gov. Doug Burgum.

This race is one of those targeted by the independent spending coming from Burgum.

Today the Minuteman Blog — a propaganda blog for the Bastiats written by a person who lacks the integrity to put his name on the things he writes — posted a series of text messages sent to Eckroth purportedly coming from Robbie Lauf, who is also a former Burgum staffer.

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