Marvin Nelson on Doug Burgum: “He Doesn’t Understand Government”


TOM STROMME.Tribune Rep. Marvin Nelson (D-Rolla) urges members of the House to vote against SB 2351, a bill that would relax the North Dakota corporate farm bill to allow exceptions for dairy and hog producers. The bill passed by a vote of 56-37 in floor action on Monday afternoon.

On Friday while guest hosting for Jay Thomas on WDAY AM970 I interviewed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Marvin Nelson. The full audio of the interview is below.

Now that the primary season is over, Nelson’s job is to try and stop the momentum of Republican nominee Doug Burgum who not only crushed popular, long-time Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem in the primary but enjoyed a large number of crossover votes from Democrats.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]I asked Nelson why voters should vote for him and not Burgum, and he said because Burgum “doesn’t understand government.”[/mks_pullquote]

I asked Nelson if he was worried about all those Democratic voters sticking to the Republican ticket come November. He seemed a bit flustered by the question. “Why would they?” he countered.

Nelson suggested that Burgum might lose some of his momentum because “the day after the election” he “worked to be the same old same old.” That’s a reference to Burgum’s post-primary press conference where he seemed to strike a softer tone on his criticism of the Republican status quo in the state.

I asked Nelson why voters should vote for him and not Burgum, and he said because Burgum “doesn’t understand government.”

I’ll admit to rolling my eyes a bit when people talk about the “good old boys club,” and I simply do not believe that long time public service should be an inherent negative on any given leader’s resume, but as far as the voters are concerned I think they consider Burgum’s lack of public service a plus. He postured himself as an outsider, and the voters ate it up.

Nelson also said Burgum hasn’t been very specific about the sort of policies he’d enact as governor. “What would Doug cut?” Nelson asked, a reference to Burgum’s sharp criticism of state spending during the primary campaign. “He hasn’t talked specifics.”

I agree with that. Burgum has been vague. Here’s to hoping he gets more specific during the general election process.