John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.
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BISMARCK — The North Dakota Republican Party confirmed it will support an independent candidate for secretary of state Tuesday, May 22, one day after that office’s longtime occupant said he would mount such a campaign. Republican Al Jaeger said Monday he’ll work to gather the 1,000 signatures necessary to appear on the November ballot as an independent. That announcement came a day after the Republican-endorsed candidate, Will Gardner, dropped out of the race once his 2006 peeping arrest surfaced.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger will run for re-election as an independent in November after the Republican-endorsed candidate dropped out once his 2006 peeping arrest surfaced. Jaeger, a Republican who has been in office since 1993, said Monday, May 21, he conferred with Republican Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and determined an independent run was his only option for re-election.
BISMARCK — Details remained sparse late this week about the medical marijuana manufacturing facility planned for Fargo. The North Dakota Department of Health named Grassroots Cannabis as one of two entities selected by an application review panel this week. The department said the organization would locate its facility in Fargo, but information from its application is confidential under state law. Meanwhile, officials who appeared to be associated with the venture didn't return messages seeking information about their plans.
BISMARCK—The former North Dakota governor's residence was demolished under rainy skies Friday morning, May 18. An excavator began tearing down the nearly 60-year-old structure at about 7 a.m. Later in the day, a pile of rubble was all that remained on the southwest corner of the Capitol grounds. Gov. Doug Burgum and first lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum moved into the new home next door a couple of months ago. State lawmakers first approved the $5 million project in 2015, requiring that $1 million come from private donations.
BISMARCK — North Dakota's U.S. senators split on a vote to reverse the repeal of net neutrality rules Wednesday, May 16, as a few Republicans joined the chamber's Democrats to pass the resolution. Senators used a law that allows Congress to overturn regulatory decisions, such as December's Federal Communications Commission vote to strip the Obama-era rules aimed at ensuring internet service providers treat content equally. The regulation's supporters have warned against allowing ISPs to charge websites for faster service at the expense of competition.
BISMARCK — Rep. Kevin Cramer highlighted farmers' anxiety over the Trump administration's trade moves Wednesday, May 16, but the North Dakota Republican expressed support for the long-term goal of balancing relations with China. Cramer, an ally of President Donald Trump who is running for U.S. Senate this year, testified during a hearing held by the U.S. Trade Representative's office on proposed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports. The tariffs are in response to China's "unfair trade practices," the office said.
BISMARCK — The open race for North Dakota secretary of state got off to a spendy start, with the Democratic candidate raising more than $79,000 in the first phase of the campaign. Fargo Democratic state Rep. Joshua Boschee has raised $79,207, well ahead of the $12,625 reported by his Republican opponent, Mandan businessman Will Gardner, according to filings posted online by the Secretary of State's office. Boschee's pre-primary report, filed Friday, May 11, showed he had a nearly $60,000 ending balance, while Gardner had more than $5,800.
BISMARCK — Heidi Heitkamp announced she would support Gina Haspel’s bid to lead the CIA Tuesday, May 15, joining a few fellow Democratic senators who have likely sealed her confirmation. In a statement, Heitkamp said she would vote to confirm Haspel as the director of the CIA but said it “was not an easy decision” and called her involvement in torture “deeply troubling.”
BISMARCK — An attorney for TigerSwan hopes to settle a legal dispute with a North Dakota board that has alleged the security firm operated in the state without a license during the monthslong protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline. Bismarck-based Lynn Boughey plans to attend the Private Investigation and Security Board’s quarterly meeting Tuesday, May 15, and advance settlement discussions. He said a high-level official from the North Carolina-based firm will be there as well.
BISMARCK — A proposed constitutional amendment seeks to clear up any "ambiguity" about noncitizens voting in North Dakota elections. A petition submitted to Secretary of State Al Jaeger's office Monday, May 14, for review would add a line to the North Dakota Constitution allowing only a "qualified elector" to vote in federal, state and local elections here. Supporters will need 26,904 signatures before midnight, July 9, to have the measure on the general election ballot.