Legislative Race Update: Democrats Add Three More Candidates, Now Have Just Over Half Of Races Filled


This morning I got a bit of snark in my Twitter feed from North Dakota Democrat Chairman Bob Valeu who wanted me to check out the latest Fargo Forum editorial.


The editorial holds that concerns about oil impacts are bipartisan in nature – which is absolutely true – and that it’s Democrats who have the right of the issue. Which might be something left-wing editorial writers want to believe, but it isn’t something that jibes with the facts on the ground.

According to our most recent update of North Dakota legislative candidates, Democrats still have just three candidates in the five districts that cover the oil patch with the deadline for the primary ballot looming on Monday. Of those three candidates, one is a twenty year old college student who got in the race because District 39 Democrats couldn’t find anyone else, and the other is a the District 37 chairwoman who recently moved out west from Fargo and only got in the race after being quoted in the Dickinson Press that she’d find candidates to run.

Which sort of makes it seem like Democrats are putting placeholder candidates in these races only to avoid appearing as though they have nobody west of Bismarck. I don’t think you can overstate how devastating this is for the Democrats’ narrative on oil impacts in North Dakota. If their message on oil is right, then where are the western North Dakotans who are ready to get in the legislature and advance that agenda?

They’re few and far between, it seems.

Anyway, since yesterday Democrats did add three more legislative candidates. Jeff Piel is running for state Senate in District 29, Mary Schneider is running for state House in District 21 and Bradley Bergstad is running for state Senate in District 47.

Currently Democrats have 38 legislative candidates (10 incumbents) for 72 races, which finally puts them just over the halfway mark.

Republicans finally filled out their slate in District 45. Mary Johnson will be running for the state House. They now have 66 candidates for 72 races, including 49 incumbents. They aren’t likely to add any more candidates as the six remaining seats are in Districts 9 and 11, which are perhaps the most left-wing districts in the state.

Here’s the most recent list of candidates:

Legislative Races by Rob Port