BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Land Commissioner Lance Gaebe (GAY'-bee) is still in the running to keep his job.

Gaebe was appointed in 2010 by then-Gov. John Hoeven and his term expires at the end of the year. A search committee has been reviewing applicants for the position after that. Thirty-two people applied for the job.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that the committee has decided to conduct background and reference checks on four candidates, including Gaebe.

The commissioner manages the state Land Department. The agency leases grazing rights and rights to produce oil, coal and gravel from state lands.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com