Rumors about state Senator Nicole Poolman being Wayne Stenehjem’s running mate have been around for about as long as Stenehjem’s gubernatorial campaign has.
This time around, the conventional wisdom won, and Poolman was unanimously selected by the delegates to be Stenehjem’s running mate. There had been talk of state Rep. Kim Koppelman being endorsed from the floor to contest it, but it didn’t happen.
To be clear, Poolman was Stenehjem’s choice.
It’s probably a solid one overall.
Looking at it politically, the pros are that Poolman is a teacher and a respected lawmaker and (because identity politics matter, unfortunately) a woman.
The cons are that she is from Bismarck, and Stenehjem is perceived as being from Bismarck as well (even though he was raised in Minot and was a long-time lawmaker and attorney in Grand Forks) and maybe the geographic politics don’t work out.
And there are some who see Poolman (along with her husband, party vice chair and former Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman) as a part of the Republican party’s “establishment” which is so widely derided today.
No word yet on who Fargo businessman Doug Burgum might choose as a running mate.