North Dakota Dems lack candidates for 13 legislative seats

April 10, 2018

BISMARCK, N.D. (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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