It’s been a foregone conclusion that Wayne Stenehjem, who has served as North Dakota’s Attorney General since 2000, will be announcing a campaign for governor at some point this year. After all Stenehjem, by his own admission, has formed a preliminary campaign committee and has not been returning tens of thousands in contributions already flowing in.
I can now report a definite date for an official announcement of the campaign. On Tuesday, November 24, Stenehjem will announce that he’s seeking the NDGOP nomination for governor. The announcement will take place at the Heritage Center at the capitol in Bismarck. There will be a fundraiser for the campaign afterwards at the Bismarck Arts & Galleries Association.
Stenehjem will make the second official NDGOP candidate in the race. Rep. Rick Becker has already announced his campaign officially, as well as a campaign committee.
With Stenehjem’s entrance, and with state Senator Tom Campbell expected to say he won’t be running tomorrow, it would seem only two question marks remain for Republicans in 2016, at least for the gubernatorial race.
Treasurer Kelly Schmidt said she’s interested in running back in September, though has been quiet on that front since. Fargo businessman Doug Burgum is considering running as a Republican – early reports that he might run as an independent seem extremely unlikely at this point – and has yet to announce a decision.
For Democrats they have a long list of candidates who say they won’t run for governor, and one blast-from-the-past in the person of Sarah Vogel who says she’s considering it. Vogel has a track record of electoral success in the state though hasn’t held office in roughly twenty year.s