Minot Democrats file for legislative seats

District 3 Democrats have filled their ticket for the November election against a field of Republican candidates who will first face off in the June election.

District 5 Democrats also have candidates for two of the three positions on the ballot.

In District 3, Joseph Nesdahl of Minot is running for state Senate and Bob Schwartz and Shannon Krueger, both Minot, are running for the House.

Nesdahl is a public school teacher in Minot. He is a church and Cub Scout volunteer and member of The Heritage Singers.

Schwartz, a social studies teacher at Des Lacs-Burlington High School, is a New York state native who came to Minot in 1999 with the Air Force. The Air Force took him back and forth from Minot over the years, but upon separating from the military, he located in Minot in April 2012. He earned a bachelor of education degree in history from Minot State University.

He has been a volunteer at the Men’s Winter Refuge and with his students has volunteered at Caleb’s Clubhouse and in holiday food drives.

In District 5, David Haugen, a Minot counselor, is on the ballot for the Senate and Zachary Raknerud, who works in retail management in Minot, is running for the House.

“North Dakota has always been my home,” said Raknerud. He spent his early years in Grand Forks before moving with his family to Northwood, where he graduated from high school. He graduated from the University of North Dakota in 2016 and moved to Minot.

“I am running because I have witnessed our state government be hesitant to take action. We need to take action to resolve the nursing crisis. We need to take action to keep our young people in the state. We need to take action to address rising property taxes. I am joining this race to bring these types of issues to the forefront and to advocate for bold policy solutions,” Raknerud said.

Haugen is a licensed clinical counselor with more than 30 years of experience in the profession. He currently is in private practice. A North Dakota native, he holds degrees from Minot State University and Auburn University in Alabama.

He said he wants to advocate for working families, small businesses and for fair taxation, including addressing property tax increases.

District 5 Republican candidates are Sen. Randy Burckhard for Senate and Rep. Scott Louser and Jay Fisher for the House.

Fisher is former director of the NDSU-North Central Research Extension Center in Minot. He served on the board of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce and as chairman and current board member of Minot Area Development Corp.

Burckhard, who has represented the district in the Senate since 2011, is a retired SRT Communications executive. He has been heavily involved in the community, serving on the Minot City Council, Minot Area Chamber of Commerce, Minot Area Development Corp., Souris Valley United Way and Task Force 21.

Louser, a House member since 2011, is a Realtor and owner of NextHome Legendary Properties.

District 3 Republicans endorsed incumbent Oley Larsen for the Senate and Jeff Hoverson and Bob Paulson for the House. The House seats are being challenged in the primary by Rep. Andrew Maragos and Alan Walter.

Hoverson has 25 years of ministry experience and is currently a pastor at Living Word church in north Minot. Formerly a public school teacher, he also is a businessman operating a “LoVE Ice Cream” food truck business with his family.

Paulson retired as commander after a 24-year career with the Navy. He moved in 2009 to Minot, where he currently is president of the Lighthouse Church board, board president for Dakota Hope Clinic, treasurer for Minot Camp of the Gideons International and participates in the New Life Fellowship ministry to inmates at the Ward County Jail.

Larsen is a former educator now employed in the insurance industry. He has been in the state Senate since 2011.

Maragos is a Minot businessman and Vietnam veteran who has served in the House from 1993 to 2006 and again since 2011. Walter is a former Minot public works director, elected to the Ward County Commission in 2012.

District 3 includes an eastern portion of Minot, Surrey, Logan and the rural area in Nedrose, Surrey, New Prairie and Sundre townships.

District 5 consists of much of south Minot.

ND Dems lack candidates for 13 legislative seats

BISMARCK (AP) — North Dakota Democrats lack candidates for 10 state House seats and three seats in the state Senate, and Republicans aren’t fielding anyone for either chamber in a district that includes an American Indian reservation in the north-central part of the state, candidate filings show.

Late Monday was the deadline for candidates to file with the state secretary of state’s office for the June primary election.

North Dakota has 47 legislative districts. Each is represented by two House members and a senator, who are elected at large for four-year terms. The 24 odd-numbered districts have legislative campaigns this fall.

A full legislative ticket would have 72 House and Senate candidates; Democrats have 59 on the ballot.

“We’re very happy with the candidates we did recruit,” said Scott McNeil, who heads the state Democratic Party. “We think we are going to gain seats in the Legislature.”

He said that the party “is very excited” that more than half of the candidates are women.

Republicans already hold an 81-13 advantage in the House and a 38-9 edge in the Senate, which is Democrats’ fewest Senate seats since 1969 and fewest House seats since at least the late 1950s.

“I expect us to maintain our strong majority in both the House and Senate,” state GOP chairman Rick Berg said,

Republicans were unable to recruit any legislative candidates in for District 9 seat, a traditionally Democratic stronghold that includes Rollette County and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa reservation near the Canadian border.

Democrats do not have Senate or House candidates in Districts 33, a coal-producing region in the western part of the state or in District 39, the state’s largest, in southwestern North Dakota.

They also lack a House candidate in District 5 (Minot), District 7 (Bismarck), District 15 (Devils Lake), District 19 (rural Grand Forks County), District 31 (southwestern North Dakota) and District 47, in northwestern Bismarck.

The state Senate seat for Kelly Armstrong of Dickinson, who won the GOP’s endorsement for U.S. House, is not up for election this year. But the senate seat for Tom Campbell, who lost the GOP endorsement, is being contested by two Republicans. Campbell is mounting a primary campaign for the North Dakota’s lone congressional seat and will lose his state senate seat.

Tiffany Abentroth and Paul Schaffner, who also competed for the GOP endorsement, also are continuing to the primary, filings show.

Any candidate may run in either party’s primary by collecting petition signatures from at least 300 North Dakota voters.


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