MINOT, N.D. — Last week the North Dakota Supreme Court concluded something that was blindingly obvious back in May.
Travisia Martin, the North Dakota Democratic-NPL candidate for Insurance Commissioner, is not eligible to hold the office she was campaigning for. She voted in Nevada in 2016, and since voting in that state requires you to be a resident, she could not have been a resident of North Dakota then and, thus, has not been a resident of our state for the five years required to hold executive branch office here.
When I first reported on Martin’s eligibility problems months ago, Martin and the North Dakota Democratic-NPL could have opted to acknowledge the problem and work on finding a way to get a new candidate into the race.
I think most of us could understand that sort of move. Democrats could have tried to nominate a new candidate or, barring that, could have organized a campaign around an independent candidate of their choosing as Republicans did with Secretary of State Al Jaeger in the 2018 cycle.
The public has an interest in competitive races for public office, and I think we could all support reasonable efforts by the Democrats to find a candidate so that incumbent Republican Jon Godfread isn’t left running unopposed.
Unfortunately, Martin and the Democrats didn’t choose that route. Instead they chose a quixotic tilt at keeping Martin on the ballot, despite clear evidence that she has no business being there. Only now that they lost that fight do they want the Supreme Court to make a dramatic, last-minute intervention to put a new candidate on their ticket.