Plain Talk: Who Is Dr. Shelley Lenz, the Veterinarian Who Wants to Be Governor of North Dakota?


“I don’t have a party. I’m an independent.”

That’s what Dr. Shelley Lenz told me on this episode of Plain Talk.

Lenz is a veterinarian from western North Dakota who, despite her assertions of independence, is running for the North Dakota Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nomination. She said that part of the reason why she wants to declare independence is she wants to draw a distinction between North Dakota Democrats and their national counterparts.

“The Democratic party is redefining itself,” she told me, acknowledging the struggles Democrats have had in North Dakota, particularly in the western part of the state. “How did we lose the farmers and workers? That’s who we are.”

During our interview she talked about why she feels North Dakota’s state government is ignoring the needs of the western part of the state. She also addressed her views on energy development, social issues, taxes, and regulation.

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