Print Column: The Public Deserves Better Vetting of Candidates


On my radio show Monday, as I discussed Republican Will Gardner’s departure from the Secretary of State race, I tried to remember the last time a Democrat had won an election for an executive branch office North Dakota.

I couldn’t do it.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp was the last Democrat to win a statewide election for federal office, having earned her first term back in 2012. Former Congressman Earl Pomeroy won re-election to the U.S. House in 2008.

But state office? I had to turn to the internet, and learned that it was Roger Johnson, who won an election for Agriculture Commissioner in 2006.

Let that sink in for a moment. North Dakota’s Democrats haven’t won a state executive branch office since the George W. Bush administration.

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