Death complicates District 8 race
Ballot offers fresh slate of candidates for ND House
The death of a Republican legislative candidate in District 8 has added complexity to the Nov. 3 election for voters there.
The unexpected death of David Andahl, Baldwin, that was announced Monday won’t remove his name from the ballot, which has been printed and has gone out to those requesting to vote absentee. Andahl was one of a fresh slate of candidates for North Dakota House of Representatives in the district.
Incumbent Rep. Vernon Laning declined to seek re-election, and Rep. Jeff Delzer was defeated in the primary election, setting up a race among newcomers this fall. Andahl and Dave Nehring had launched a successful, aggressive campaign with support from Gov. Doug Burgum to earn spots as the Republicans on the November ballot. Kathrin Volochenko and Linda Babb are seeking to capture the seats for the Democratic-NPL Party.
In the Senate race, Sen. Howard Anderson Jr. is running unopposed for the seat he has held since 2013. District 8 includes much of McLean County and part of Burleigh County.
Volochenko, Mercer, is originally from the Napa Valley area in California. She moved to North Dakota in 1979 after serving honorably in the Air Force.
“I’ve shown my commitment to North Dakota in many ways in regard to preserving the environment, implementing good work ethic and providing fair and honest leadership as demonstrated during my two terms as Kief city mayor and nine years as auditor and as the treasurer for several different entities, in addition to owning and operating a long haul trucking company since 2003,” she said. “My vision is to grow North Dakota’s economy in new ways, while caring for our people and our land.”
Her intent, if elected, will be to support a safe, affordable and reliable food supply; increase access to affordable healthcare; and promote 100% paid two-year community college tuition for any North Dakota resident. Her priorities include addressing the shortage of mental health and addiction services and supporting fiscally responsible legislation and transparency in government.
“I’ll bring much needed moderation to our Legislature. As my opponents are being heavily funded by the GOP that only sends the message that certain people are attempting to buy legislative seats,” she said. “People know me as a leader who stands up for what is right, a communicator who listens and follows up and a hard worker who collaborates on solutions and insists on 100% transparency.”
Babb, Bismarck, is a foster grandmother who stays busy with virtual school and her family. Before retiring, she enjoyed a long career in computer science. She is a graduate of the University of North Dakota with a bachelor’s degree in history.
Babb was a small business owner for many years in computer repair and operation of a coffee shop.
“This pandemic has forced us to make sacrifices and changes that we never dreamed about. If elected, my goal is to prioritize our goals on the future that will be in the best interests of people, not just industry and big money. I will fight with dignity and respect for the people of North Dakota, because our lives will never be the same and party loyalists are tearing us apart,” she said. “I am disappointed that Joe Biden is our candidate – I won’t lie. I think our democracy is fractured and we need to protect ourselves and our planet. It’s all about priorities and putting the needs of the people first.”
Nehring, Bismarck, lists jobs and the economy as high on the list of pressing issues this coming legislative session.
“We need to let industry know that we are the best place to do business, and that we are open for business,” he said. “North Dakota can help drive new industry with tax relief, in the form of personal, property and corporate taxes. Our citizens know how to spend their money better than government does. One example of proper tax relief was a previous Legislature’s elimination of oil tax triggers and the locking-in of a flat tax rate. That move has generated an extra $459 million for the state since it’s inception.”
He said his background and experience in agriculture and industry make him well suited to tackle the challenges of District 8. He also said he has been fortunate to grow up in rural North Dakota and have the opportunity to serve on various boards and associations.
“In our ‘citizen legislature’ we have a chance to serve at the behest of our fellow citizens of North Dakota and to make decisions that impact their lives, hopefully in a positive manner as much as possible,” he said.
Andahl, a Baldwin rancher, had been a 16-year member of the Burleigh County Planning and Zoning Commission – with eight of those years as chairman. Should he win a seat posthumously, a replacement would have to be appointed. The Secretary of State’s Office is investigating those procedures.
Howard Anderson of Turtle Lake said he is running for the Senate to serve the people of District 8 and the whole of North Dakota.
“I have a long history of working with the Legislature since my first effort testifying before the Natural Resources Committee at the request of the local Wildlife Club back in the late ’70s,” he said. He also brings experience as a business owner at Turtle Lake Rexall Drug, Sodas and Things in Underwood and McClusky Drug, working with the North Dakota Pharmacists Association and later as executive of the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy.
“Unique challenges for this biennium will be to continue the good things the Legislature has begun in recent sessions while working within the constraints of a much lowered income forecast. These things include the Social Services assumption by the state to give property tax relief to each citizen of the state; to continue the mental health and justice reform initiatives begun in the last three sessions; and to continue the efforts to vertically integrate our agriculture production, oilfield production of oil and natural gas and to make our coal fired energy plants economically viable partly by the addition of value-added products and carbon sequestration,” Anderson said.