Plain Talk: Auditor Gallion Says Things Are “Cordial” With Governor Burgum Despite Campaign Announcement Snub

State Auditor Josh Gallion announces his intention to run for reelection in 2020 on Thursday, Oct. 10, at the North Dakota Republican Party headquarters in Bismarck. Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service

“Regardless of what you do…you’re going to have critics.”

That’s what North Dakota Auditor Josh Gallion, a Republican who announced his re-election campaign last week, told me on this episode of Plain Talk.

Gallion has drawn the ire of at least some of his fellow Republicans during his first term in office. After some aggressive audits, released directly to the public as opposed to filtering them through a legislative committee first as was the practice of his predecessors, a bipartisan majority of state lawmakers voted to gut his authority to initiate performance audits going forward.

The law, which Republican Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem found was likely unconstitutional, requires the Auditor to get permission from a legislative committee for those audits.

Gallion told me he’s not currently following that law; instead, he’s abiding by Stenehjem’s opinion.

The Auditor also seems to have a feud with Republican Governor Doug Burgum. Last year Gallion reviewed the Governor’s office travel expenses, and while there were no significant findings, it’s pretty clear Burgum resented the review. Last week when Gallion announced his re-election, Burgum declined to comment on it.

Asked about it, Gallion said he “can’t speak for the Governor” but that his interactions with him have been “cordial.”

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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