Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger should step down and focus on health

MINOT, N.D. — In 2014, I was tipped off to the fact that a vehicle registered to Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger had been involved in an alcohol-related accident.

I got hold of Ryan by phone the same day as the incident. As the story unfolded, it turned out he had been day drinking with another person and loaned out his car so this person could go buy some cigarettes.

After the story broke, Rauschenberger, who was facing a re-election campaign that year, took a leave of absence from his state duties to seek treatment. He came back and easily won re-election.

In 2018, Rauschenberger was again up for re-election and again ran into problems with alcohol. He was stopped for DUI, and ultimately found guilty. Again, he found treatment. Again, he won re-election, even with his Democratic challenger, Kylie Oversen, running attack ads targeting his addiction problems.

Next year Rauschenberger is again up for re-election, and while it’s not clear if he’s running or not — he told me in July he wasn’t ruling it out — he’s back in the headlines.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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