Stenehjem Wins Convention Endorsement, Thanks Becker But Not Burgum For "Honorable" Campaign

For a guy who said he wasn’t going to win the NDGOP endorsement, Doug Burgum sure spent a lot of money on winning it.

His convention presence was on par with that of Wayne Stenehjem and Rick Becker, both of whom had (unlike Burgum) said they would abide by the convention outcome.

But for all the spending – which included a Friday night concert by Tigirlily for delegates with free food and booze – Burgum didn’t get much.

He put up just over 15 percent of the delegate vote on the first ballot. On the second ballot he dropped under 10 percent, with most of the defectors going over to Stenehjem.

Sure, Burgum has always planned on running to the primary, but he’s increasingly looking like a marginal candidate.

A very well funded marginal candidate, sure. But you have to wonder, would anyone be paying attention to Burgum’s campaign if he weren’t a multi-millionaire?

It’s going to be a bitter path forward in the campaign. Burgum’s campaigning has been vicious, and Stenehjem threw some haymakers of his own during his speech accepting the convention’s endorsement. He thanked Becker – but, conspicuously not Burgum – for running an “honorable, honest and decent campaign.”

“Honor is to be earned not bought,” he added.

Ouch.

Anyway, below is a spreadsheet showing the district-by-district second ballot vote which gave Stenehjem his victory. Also included are the vote totals for the first ballot.

UPDATE: Doug Burgum sent out this statement in response to the delegate vote:

“Congratulations to Attorney General Stenehjem and Representative Rick Becker for a great day at the NDGOP Convention. The only surprise from today’s convention was that Wayne didn’t win on the first ballot. Today, nearly half of the Republicans in attendance made it clear that they are ready for a change from the status quo.

We look forward to continuing our campaign and sharing our vision to take North Dakota from good to exceptional by stopping runaway spending, diversifying the economy, reforming property taxes, and increasing local control. From the day I entered the race, I’ve always planned to run on June 14 in the Republican primary election, and I’m excited to carry our vision across the state to North Dakota primary voters.”

He’s kind of suggesting that all the not-Stenehjem votes are tacit votes for him, but I’m not so sure.

How many of Becker’s supporters would be willing to support Burgum? Some, sure, but not anything approaching all of them.

These numbers are unofficial.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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