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Dems endorse candidate to replace nominee ruled ineligible

BISMARCK (AP) — North Dakota Democrats have endorsed a new candidate for insurance commissioner after the state Supreme Court ruled the party’s intitial nominee was ineligible for the ballot.

In a unanimous opinion last week, the high court upheld a lower court ruling that concluded Travisia Martin hasn’t lived in the state long enough to hold the office. Democrats on Friday endorsed Fargo insurance agent Jason Anderson to replace her.

The party filed a petition on Monday with the North Dakota Supreme Court to get Anderson on the November ballot. Arguments in the case are scheduled Wednesday.

Democrats endorsed Martin in March to run against Jon Godfread, who is seeking a second term. He was elected to the position in 2016.

North Dakota’s Republican Party cited Martin’s November 2016 vote in Nevada as evidence of her ineligibility to hold office, based on a five-year residency requirement for executive branch officials.

A Democrat hasn’t headed North Dakota’s Insurance Department since 2000, and only three have served in the office since statehood.