I think we can safely assume that Democrat Sarah Vogel will be the gubernatorial candidate for the Democrats in 2016. Yesterday the liberals held a fundraiser for Vogel in Bismarck (attended by less than two dozen people, at least according to Facebook) and the headliner was the only Democrat to win an election on the statewide ballot since 2008.
Namely, Senator Heidi Heitkamp.
United States Senators don’t typically show up to raise money for speculative campaigns. So I think we can safely conclude that Vogel is in. Which is news dripping with irony, I think.
Remember that North Dakota Democrats are supposed to be in the midst of a youth movement. When they selected not-yet-graduated law student (and Grand Forks area legislator) Kylie Oversen as their new party chair she was feted as the youngest state party chairperson in the nation.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]Just to be clear, Democrats are apparently going to speak to young people with an aging retread from a past political era.[/mks_pullquote]
“Specifically, I am excited to speak to young people and to women,” Oversen said in an interview after her selection. “[I]t’s important for young people to wake up and pay attention,” she continued.
Just to be clear, Democrats are apparently going to speak to young people with an aging retread from a past political era.
Vogel, who is nearly 70 years old, hasn’t held public office for nearly 20 years. She was previously Agriculture Commissioner from 1989 to 1997.
Fun fact: She actually first took office the same year that Oversen was born.
The irony is that Democrats claim to have a thriving party full of smart young activists and leaders, but all of those type of candidates declined to run leaving the liberals needing dust off Vogel’s political career to fill a ballot slot.
Vogel is a serious candidate, make no mistake. She has had political success in the past, and she’ll be supported in no small way by Heitkamp who is nothing if not an aggressive and competent campaigner.
But the fact that Vogel is doddering back into statewide politics puts lie to the claims of a healthy, thriving Democrat movement in North Dakota.