Primary challenge

District 3 Republicans face off in state House race

Primary election voters in Legislative District 3 will be deciding on June 12 which of four Republican House candidates will advance to the November ballot.

District Republicans endorsed newcomers Jeff Hoverson and Bob Paulson of Minot. Incumbent representative, Andrew Maragos, and Alan Walter, a Ward County commissioner, are challenging the endorsed candidates. Two will advance to the general election.

In the primary, voters can vote either the Republican or Democrat column. Crossing over will cause a ballot to be rejected.

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. A pilot, he participated in Operation Desert Shield and later served as operations officer for the Fleet Logistics Support Wing during Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He moved to Minot in 2009.

“I would like to add my votes to the conservative wing of the Republican Party,” Hoverson said in responding to a Minot Daily News questionnaire about his budget priorities for the state.

“We are in need of a season of shrinkage of the budget. I would like to look at targeted areas, duplication, etc., that can be put on the table first. We should budget according to principles, not pet-project battles,” he said. “When legislators begin to treat tax revenue like it is ‘their’ money, the problems begin to take on almost unstoppable growth. It is not noble to give money to someone by taking it from another person.”

Paulson said budgeting must begin with constitutional priorities.

“Education, infrastructure and addressing the substance abuse and addiction problem in North Dakota. I minister at the Ward County Jail on a regular basis, so I see it first hand. Those struggling need practical help to break the cycle of addiction,” Paulson said.

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 City of Minot public works director, first elected to the Ward County Commission in 2012.

In his questionnaire response, Maragos said his budget priority is to adequately fund education at all levels while trying to maintain a hold even, or slightly increased budget.

Walter said his budget priorities are to maintain the services necessary to operate necessary functions of state government.

“I would look for any savings and improved efficiencies of any of the operations being offered by the state. I realize that many of the state departments are mandated by federal law to do or increase the work or supply the services. However, we need to carefully consider all requested increases in state budgets,” he said.

Hoverson said he wants to bring to the Legislature an emphasis on liberty and self governance, built on a strong religious foundation. Paulson said he would bring a commitment to conservative principles to ensure responsible use of taxpayer dollars and to protect personal freedoms.

Maragos said his past service and relationship built during his time in the Legislature will be an asset in helping Minot achieve its needs going forward. Walter cites his experience in working with government at all levels.

“I am not afraid to ask questions about specifics or rules that are being applied to issues or situations,” Walter said. “The attitude ‘that I’m the government and I’m right’ doesn’t work for me.”

For the candidates’ complete responses to the entire Minot Daily News questionnaire, visit minotdailynews.com and click on the Election 2018 link on the home page.

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

Republican Sen. Oley Larsen is seeking re-election to the state Senate seat. On the Democrat ticket, Joseph Nesdahl of Minot is running for Senate and Bob Schwartz and Shannon Krueger, both Minot, are running for the House.