District 5 returns Republicans to Legislature

Burckhard, Louser, Fisher post wins

District 5 voters went with Republican representation in giving solid support to two incumbents and one newcomer Tuesday.

Randy Burckhard, who has represented the district in the Senate since 2011, defeated Democratic-NPL candidate David Haugen 3,908-1,719 in unofficial results in the Senate race.

In the House race, Scott Louser, who has been in the House since 2011, and Jay Fisher were elected over Zachary Raknerud. Unofficial vote totals were Louser, 3,731; Fisher, 3,336; and Raknerud, 1,818.

Burckhard is a retired SRT Communications executive who has been heavily involved in the community, including serving on the Minot City Council and Task Force 21. Burckhard said he looks forward to returning to the Legislature to address the issues affecting Minot and continue building relationships with the many legislators who have become friends in the past six years.

The Republican candidates had promoted their experience and relationships at the legislative level as assets they would use to ensure Minot’s interests are guarded.

Haugen said he is glad to have given voters a choice.

“I don’t know if people really understood the issues that well,” he said. “It looks like the voters voted for the status quo of higher property taxes and limited support for the public schools, but that’s their choice.”

Haugen formerly worked for North Central Human Service Center and now is in private practice as a counselor. Raknerud, a lifelong North Dakotan, moved to Minot in 2016 after graduating from the University of North Dakota and works in retail.

Haugen and Raknerud had said they want to bring a different perspective to state government, and in some cases, a bold new perspective. Raknerud said he wanted to bring new ideas, such as tuition-free community colleges and trade schools and a state-established health insurance option.

Democrats in District 5 polled somewhat stronger than four years ago in percentage of the votes captured in the higher turnout race, which Haugen said is a promising trend for the party.

Louser is a Realtor and owner of NextHome Legendary Properties. Fisher is former director of the NDSU-North Central Research Extension Center in Minot.

“I am excited and want to thank the voters of District 5,” Louser said. “Then it’s time to get to work.” He said the top of his agenda is Hub City funding and flood control for Minot.

Fisher said he’s “thankful and anxious” as he thinks about the responsibility ahead. But he’s also eager to address the needs of the state and use the Legacy Fund in a way that benefits future generations.

“I am passionate about ag, energy and the opportunity to rebuild the infrastructure for Minot,” he said.

District 5 includes much of south Minot.