In a move that seems calculated to end talk that Democrats might not nominate a gubernatorial candidate at all, former Agriculture Commissioner Sarah Vogel has told the media that she’s considering a run for governor.
“I am in the thinking about it stage,” Vogel told the Fargo Forum. “I have been asked to run for one office or another every election cycle for the last 20 years. And I always say ‘no, no.’ But this time I’m saying I’ll look at it. Because I think there’s a need for different leadership. There are a lot of issues.”
Vogel 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 current Democrat Party Chairwoman Kylie Oversen was born. She ran for the state Supreme Court after her Ag Commissioner stint, but lost that campaign.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]That Vogel would be putting her name forward now is telling, as she certainly seems to this observer to be something of a placeholder. But a placeholder Democrats desperately need.[/mks_pullquote]
That Vogel would be putting her name forward now is telling, as she certainly seems to this observer to be something of a placeholder. But a placeholder Democrats desperately need.
After all, as I’ve noted previously, the mudslinging and “be angry” rhetoric Democrats are hurling at Republicans right now rings hollow when they can’t find a candidate to run for governor. We’re supposed to believe them when they say our state government is inept and corrupt when no Democrat wants to run for the office?
But in Vogel they potentially have someone who has at least a modicum of ballot box credibility – Vogel was, once upon a time, a political force in the state – but who also has nothing to lose should she get a shellacking at the ballot box when facing a Republican candidate.
I think there are plenty of Democrats in North Dakota who would like to be governor. Those Democrats aren’t running because they think they’ll lose.
Vogel might run because a) it would be devastating for her party’s rhetoric if they didn’t run anybody and b) it doesn’t really matter to her if she loses.
Meanwhile, for Republicans, Wayne Stenehjem is expected to officially announce his campaign soon. State Rep. Rick Becker has already announced his campaign. State Senator Tom Campbell has said he’ll also be announcing his intentions soon, though I’m told he may drop out once Stenehjem is in officially.
Treasurer Kelly Schmidt has also said she might run, as well as Fargo businessmen Doug Burgum though I’m told the latter is less enamored with running than he was earlier this year.