Port: Former Democratic-NPL House candidate, cast aside last year for Miss America, switches parties


MINOT, N.D. — A year ago, in March 2022, I was in the room at the Democratic-NPL convention in Minot when Mark Haugen was chosen to run for the U.S. House, challenging Republican incumbent Kelly Armstrong.

I may have been one of the first people Haugen told about his candidacy. The party had been struggling to recruit a candidate, and Haugen showed up on the second day of the convention telling me he was going to throw his hat into the ring.

It wasn’t a small decision. Running as a Democrat in North Dakota right now is no easy task. It’s expensive and daunting, but it was something Haugen was willing to do for his fellow Democrats.

But just months later, in September, Haugen was pushed out in favor of Cara Mund, a former Miss America whose late-starting campaign had the backing of Democratic-NPL bigwigs like former Congressman Earl Pomeroy, former Sen. Kent Conrad, and left-wing talk radio host Joel Heitkamp.

None of whom, it’s worth mentioning, bothered to attend their party’s convention, where Haugen was chosen as the candidate, in person.

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