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Published November 06, 2012, 09:03 PM

Dalrymple wins first full term as ND governor

FARGO — Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who took over two years ago when John Hoeven resigned to move to the U.S. Senate, was elected to his first full term Tuesday after a campaign that focused on his management of economic growth.

FARGO — Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who took over two years ago when John Hoeven resigned to move to the U.S. Senate, was elected to his first full term Tuesday after a campaign that focused on his management of economic growth.

Dalrymple defeated Democrat Ryan Taylor, a rancher and state senator who was running his first statewide campaign.

Dalrymple has supported big increases in spending on roads and water projects to go along with a boom in North Dakota's oil industry and related economic development. He argued during the campaign that he did a good job of balancing that spending with tax cuts, including the continuation of a popular and expensive program that uses state money to reduce local property taxes.

"This is probably our most exciting period of growth in our history," Dalrymple said during a debate in Bismarck. "With good leadership, we can do great things, and I've been providing leadership throughout my entire life."

Taylor contended Dalrymple hadn't done enough to help local governments cope with problems created by development in western North Dakota's oil patch. He advocated giving counties a greater share of the state's oil tax revenue and providing money for local governments to hire more law enforcement officers.

"I think we have to do more than brag about the surplus that sits here in Bismarck, when there are still needs to be met," he said during the same debate.

Dalrymple, 64, served as lieutenant governor under Hoeven for 10 years. A former state lawmaker and farmer from rural Casselton, he helped found Dakota Growers Pasta Co., one of the nation's largest pasta manufacturers.

He took over as governor in December 2010, a month after Hoeven was elected to the U.S. Senate, and chose Drew Wrigley, a former U.S. attorney for North Dakota, as his lieutenant governor. Wrigley also was elected Tuesday to a four-year term in office.

Taylor, 42, who ranches near Towner, was the Senate's minority leader during the 2011 Legislature. He opted to run for governor instead of re-election to the Senate after a redistricting plan approved by the GOP-controlled Legislature put him in the same district as former minority leader David O'Connell, of Lansford.

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