Will Gardner Submits Letter to the Secretary of State Declining Primary Nomination


Will Gardner, with his wife, Laura, accepts the party's endorsement for Secretary of State at Saturday's convention at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Yesterday I wrote about the potential for a political headache for Republicans in the Secretary of State race if Will Gardner, who dropped out of the race earlier this year amid scandal but couldn’t by law be removed from the primary ballot, didn’t decline the nomination he won by running unopposed.

Last night a NDGOP official told me that Gardner had submitted his letter. This morning I obtained a copy of that letter from the Secretary of State’s office.

“I hereby inform you that I intend to decline the Republican nomination for Secretary of State,” Gardner writes in the letter which was dated yesterday. “I understand this will void my nomination by the Republican Party pending the canvassing results of the June 12, 2018, Primary Election.”

Gardner also references the portion of the North Dakota Century Code which allows him to do this. Here’s the text of that law:

So that’s that.

If you can believe it, Gardner was actually under a lot of pressure from some of the so-called “anti-establishment” factions of the NDGOP to stay in the race. He acknowledged those folks in a Facebook post:

Gardner bowing out clears the way for Republicans to endorse incumbent Al Jaeger who will be putting himself on the general election ballot as an independent.

He will face Democratic opponent Josh Boschee.

Here’s the full letter:

[scribd id=381797007 key=key-hvWYNfLUrWRjAjx2FZ3U mode=scroll]