NDNA Will Hold Debates For House, Ag Commissioner Races In May


According to North Dakota Newspaper Association President Steve Andrist, his group will hold debates in the US Hosue race and the Agriculture Commissioner races  on May 1st.

It’s kind of interesting which races the NDNA chose for debates. The federal race is a given. It’s the top of the ticket. Even if it isn’t looking all that competitive right now, they’re going to hold a debate for it.

Choosing the Ag Commissioner race is clearly a sign that they feel it’s competitive. And they’re right. Taylor is a strong candidate for Democrats, while Goehring is emerging from the Republican endorsement process a little bruised.

I think it’s clear to most observers that the Goehring/Taylor race will be competitive, while the rest of the statewide races are probably pretty safe bets for Republicans.

Democrat George Sinner is challenging incumbent Republican Kevin Cramer for the House seat. Libertarian Party candidate Jack Seaman has announced that he’s running for that seat as well, though the FEC doesn’t seem to know he exists. I don’t see any filings by Seaman for fundraising or a campaign committee on the FEC website.

No word on if Seaman will be involved in the debate.

Update: Seaman tells me via email that he doesn’t have to file with the FEC yet because he hasn’t raised enough money. It also sounds like he plans on attending this debate.

Cramer won election to the House in 2012, defeating Democrat Pam Gulleson 53 percent to 41 percent.

In the Ag Commissioner race, Democrat Ryan Taylor is challenging incumbent Republican Doug Goehring. Goehring survived an endorsement challenge from North Dakota Farm Bureau-backed Judy Estenson at the NDGOP convention a couple of weeks ago. Taylor was unchallenged for his party’s endorsement despite saying back in December that he wasn’t running for public office in 2014.

Goehring last won election to his seat in 2010 with nearly 70 percent of the vote.

No word on specifics, such as times or whether or not the debate will be broadcast in any way. I’ll update the post if I get more info.