Plain Talk: ‘It Definitely Got Weird,’ Beadle Says of Hotly-Contested State Treasurer’s Race

Rep. Thomas Beadle, R-Fargo, during floor debate Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, at the state Capitol in Bismarck. Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune

The political parties didn’t hold their traditional biannual state conventions. The candidates were constrained in their ability to campaign in person. All of the voting was done by mail. The President of the United States endorsed in a down-ballot primary race for a sleepy executive branch office with little influence over actual public policy.

This primary season was probably the most unusual in North Dakota’s history.

State Rep. Tom Beadle (R-Fargo) looks to have won the primary for state treasurer over his opponent, Rep. Dan Johnston (R-Kathryn), and on this episode of Plain Talk he spoke out about what it was like to campaign amid coronavirus, and against a candidate who has Donald Trump on his side.

“It definitely got weird,” Beadle told me. He said at one point, the personal attacks against him — from Johnston’s supporters if not the candidate himself — got very ugly and very personal. “I saw social media posts, not from my opponent’s campaign but certainly from his supporters, that were attacking my wife and I for not being blessed with children yet,” he said. “They were saying there is no way we could understand and support family values because we don’t have kids ourselves.”

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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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