MINOT, ND (AP) — North Dakota Democrats at their convention on Saturday completed endorsements for several statewide candidates, but the party failed to recruit candidates for secretary of State and Commissioner of Taxes.
Democrats at the Minot convention endorsed Jamestown University engineering professor Katrina Christiansen for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican John Hoeven, who is serving a third term. Democrats also voted on Saturday to support Bismarck’s Mark Haugen in the US House of Representatives. Haugen is a licensed counselor from the University of Mary and has worked as a paramedic for many years.
He will face GOP representative in the United States, Kelly Armstrong, who is seeking a second term.
Convention delegates also backed former Marine and Velva native Trygve Hammer for the Civil Service Commission seat held by Republican Sheri Haugen-Hoffart, who was nominated to replace Brian Kroshus when Kroshus was nominated. state tax commissioner. Haugen-Hoffart is a candidate for the remainder of Kroshus’ four-year term.
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Democrats have endorsed Grand Forks attorney Timothy Lamb for attorney general, the state’s top law enforcement official. Republican Gov. Doug Burgum nominated former lawyer and US Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley for the remainder of the term held by Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, who died in January. Wrigley shows up for the seat.
Democrats on Friday endorsed Tri-Tribe member Melanie Moniz for the second open seat on the Civil Service Commission currently held by Julie Fedorchak, who has been on the panel since 2012.
The three-member PSC regulates gas and electric utilities, coal mines, land reclamation, grain elevators and auctioneers. Much of his workload has involved determining the locations of oil and gas pipelines, natural gas processing plants, and wind power projects.
On Friday, delegates backed Bismarck attorney Fintan Dooley for the post of state commissioner for agriculture, a post Doug Goehring has held since 2009.
Convention endorsements give a front-runner a guaranteed spot on the June 14 primary ballot and party support that includes access to donor lists from the previous Democratic campaign. Endorsements do not shield a candidate from a primary challenge, but they are rare in the Democratic Party.
Patrick Hart, chairman of the Democratic Party, said campaigners would continue to recruit candidates for secretary of state and tax commissioner before the April 11 filing deadline.
About 260 delegates attended the convention on Saturday, including 102 who participated online.
North Dakota Republicans have controlled both houses of the Legislature since 1994 and hold all state offices.
The GOP state convention begins Friday in Bismarck. Party officials said they expected up to 2,000 delegates.
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