On deadline day North Dakota Democrats scrambled to fill dozens of races for which they didn’t have candidates yet. Even after the deadline, Democrats are leaving 15 legislative races unchallenged, though that’s better than the 25 open races they had a day earlier.
I’ve spent some time looking over the candidates Democrats lured into running this year, and among them is a bonafide beauty queen. Jaci Stofferahn is running for the state House in District 13.
She is the daughter of former state legislator Scott Stofferahn and, according to her beauty pageant profile, worked on the staff for former North Dakota Senators Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan.
She was also Miss North Dakota in 2012.
According to her profile, Stofferahn works as a dance instructor when not working in politics:
Jaci has interned for former Senator Byron Dorgan and Senator Kent Conrad. She currently works as a dance and fitness instructor at Red River Dance and Performing Company, the only non-profit dance studio in Fargo.
Stofferahn was also a runner-up for Miss North Dakota in 2007, 2009 and 2011.
On what appears to be a defunct Tumblr blog she wrote as Miss North Dakota 2012, Stofferahn wrote of being forcibly committed for an eating disorder:
Hiding my obsession became much more difficult now that my parents had caught on. My anorexic tendencies morphed into bulimic tendencies. In the years to come I would exercise for unreasonable lengths of time. My senior year of high school I would even call myself in sick, park my car two blocks from the gym so my parents couldn’t find me, and spend the whole day exercising. I would fast for days. I would take laxatives in my closet and turn off the light so my parents couldn’t see. I had laxatives and diet pills under my clothes in drawers, under my bed, and in my desk. I was sure that once I got to my “goal weight” I could regain a normal lifestyle and everything would be perfect. Nothing was perfect. My life was spinning out of control and I knew it. I had thought I, as an always independent and hardworking person, could help myself. I was positive I could stop the vicious cycle I was in with nobody else’s help…but I was not getting better. I fell into a deep depression that brought about days of me crying in my bed. I wouldn’t leave the house, wouldn’t go out with friends, and I lost interest in things I had once loved. I barely had the will to live anymore. My parents went from just concerned to angry and frustrated with me. They forced me into an eating disorder clinic. I was diagnosed with a form of bulimia.
By bringing me to an eating disorder clinic, my parents were doing what any loving parent would do. They were getting me help the best way they knew how. They couldn’t exactly understand what I was going through and were given no tools to learn how to best help me.
The whole posting is very candid, and ends with Stofferahn writing about her work to help others with eating disorders.
Also running in District 13 for Democrats is Scott Brand for the House and Landis Larson for the Senate. For Republicans, incumbents Judy Lee and Kim Koppelman are running for the Senate and House, respectively, while first-timer Chris Olson is also running for the House.