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Published February 04, 2014, 09:56 AM

Fargo attorney to seek Dem-NPL endorsement for tax commissioner

BISMARCK – A Fargo attorney is making his case for the state Democratic-NPL Party’s endorsement for state tax commissioner.

By: Mike Nowatzki, Forum News Service, Grand Forks Herald, Forum News Service

BISMARCK – A Fargo attorney is making his case for the state Democratic-NPL Party’s endorsement for state tax commissioner.

Jason Astrup will officially announce his candidacy Wednesday during stops in Fargo and Bismarck.

“I think we need to bring two-party leadership back to the state,” Astrup said in a phone interview Monday. “We can’t keep setting up special committees to study property tax problems when one party’s had control for almost two decades now.”

Astrup, 34, is a Jamestown native who earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2001 from what is now the University of Jamestown. He received his law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 2004 and is admitted to both the North Dakota and Minnesota bar associations and in U.S. Tax Court.

He opened his Fargo practice in 2010 and specializes in business law, tax law and estate planning.

Current Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger, a Republican, also will officially kick off his campaign Wednesday and Thursday with stops in Fargo, Bismarck, Minot and Grand Forks.

Rauschenberger had served as deputy tax commissioner since 2009 before being appointed to replace outgoing Tax Commissioner Cory Fong as of Jan. 1.

Jason Flohrs, executive director of the North Dakota GOP, said the party is “very confident” in Rauschenberger as a candidate, noting his campaign raised more than $134,000 before the end of 2013.

The Democratic-NPL Party will endorse its slate of statewide candidates during its state convention March 28-30 in Fargo. The state Republican Party will do the same at its convention April 4-6 in Minot.

Democrats have yet to announce candidates for the secretary of state, agriculture commissioner and attorney general seats, all currently held by Republicans who intend to seek re-election.

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