Last weekend North Dakota Democrats held their statewide convention in Fargo, and just before the climax of that event on Saturday they counted 460 delegates seated on the floor and ready to vote.
Today, just after the NDGOP’s statewide convention in Minot gaveled in for the first time, they counted 812 delegates.
In my experience, that number will likely grow as the convention goes on. There are no competitive races on the agenda for today. The party will endorse Rep. Kevin Cramer for House, Ryan Rauschenberger for Tax Commissioner, Julie Fedorchak for Public Service Commissioner, and Wayne Stenehjem for Attorney General.
Each of these candidates is running for the party’s endorsement unopposed.
Tomorrow, after endorsing Brian Kalk for Public Service Commissioner and Al Jaeger for Secretary of State, the convention will take up the only contested race before delegates. Incumbent Doug Goehring will take on Farm Bureau-backed challenger Judy Estenson.
The party likely scheduled this contest for Sunday to ensure the maximum number of delegates stay for the last day.
In my conversations with delegates, there’s a general sense that Goehring has the advantage, but conventions are unpredictable things. A good speech from Estenson that turns the heads of delegates could turn a lot of heads.
There isn’t a lot of interest going on at the convention today, but tomorrow could be very interesting.