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Published November 28, 2012, 11:22 AM

Unruh chosen to succeed Christmann in North Dakota Senate

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Republican activists have picked a coal company worker as North Dakota's newest state senator.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Republican activists have picked a coal company worker as North Dakota's newest state senator.

Jessica Unruh of Beulah will succeed Randy Christmann in the Senate. Christmann resigned after he was elected to the North Dakota Public Service Commission.

Unruh is an environmental specialist who works at the Freedom coal mine. She was one of six candidates for the appointment. She will serve the rest of Christmann's term, which ends in December 2014.

North Dakota law allows party political activists to appoint a legislator if an incumbent resigns shortly before the Legislature meets.

The 28-year-old Unruh will represent District 33 in North Dakota's coal-mining region. It includes Mercer and Oliver counties and part of western Morton County.

Unruh says she's planning to run for election when her term ends.

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