MINOT, N.D. — If you follow North Dakota politics, you know that our state’s dominant political organization, the North Dakota Republican Party, is sharply divided between traditionally conservative Republicans and a faction of populists who have become more belligerently prominent during the Trump era.
That divide was perhaps never more visible than during last year’s primary process, which saw Gov. Doug Burgum, a member of the former faction, spend big money trying to defeat legislative candidates representing the latter.
The end result? Burgum’s efforts were a mixed bag, if we’re putting it nicely.
One of the folks who beat Burgum was state Sen. Jeff Magrum of District 8. Since taking up residence in the Senate, Magrum set himself up as the ideological successor to former state Rep. Rick Becker, the founder of the far-right and Trump-aligned Bastiat Caucus of state lawmakers.
Magrum has also postured himself as a nemesis of sorts for Burgum’s agenda, which includes the Midwest Carbon Express pipeline, a project about which the governor has been outspokenly enthusiastic.