Traditional conservatives have a big money advantage in the NDGOP’s legislative primaries


MINOT, N.D. — In terms of races for partisan elected offices, North Dakota’s general election in November is going to be a snooze fest.

There just aren’t that many competitive races. There are 35 legislative districts on the ballot this cycle (counting the new subdistricts on their own), which is more than usual thanks to redistricting. Statewide, the Democrats left 15 legislative districts without a candidate from their party. In the districts where they are competing, they often don’t have a full slate of House and Senate candidates.

But the June primaries? Competitions for which early voting has already begun?

That’s a different matter. There are many highly competitive races in the Republican primaries, a manifestation of the Trump-era split in the party between traditional conservatives and a new breed of brash populists affiliated, ideologically if not officially, with the Bastiat Caucus of Trumpy legislative Republicans founded by state Rep. Rick Becker.

Many of the candidates from that latter category were successful in winning endorsements at local conventions, but only those who win in the June primary vote get to advance to the November ballot.

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