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Live Updates: 2024 North Dakota GOP and Dem-NPL Conventions

Published April 4, 2024 at 11:51 AM CDT

Find live updates from this weekend's political conventions in Fargo, North Dakota.

This weekend, the North Dakota GOP and Dem-NPL parties are hosting conventions in Fargo, North Dakota. Candidates for Governor, U.S. House, and Superintendent of Public Instruction will seek endorsements or letters of support from the two parties. Follow along with live updates from Prairie Public's news team.


Drama at the Convention

Posted April 6, 2024 at 6:42 PM CDT

After nether candidate won a majority on the second ballot, Julie Fedorchak dropped out of the race, meaning Alex Balasz receives the Convention nomination for Congress. Fedorchak said she is still in the race.


Second ballot for US House

Posted April 6, 2024 at 5:49 PM CDT

The convention is going to a second ballot. Enough ballots were spoiled, because Rick Becker had suggested people supporting him would cast "spoiled ballots." The count on the first ballot: 611 for Fedorchak, 403 for Balazs and 382 spoiled ballots. After the vote, Becker took to the floor, saying he had suggested to people whom he said "felt disenfranchised," and encouraged them to vote for one of the candidates. So, there will be a second vote.


GOP Convention voting on Congressional candidate

Posted April 6, 2024 at 5:19 PM CDT

The voting has begun for the GOP nominee for the US House seat. Incumbent Kelly Armstrong has received the Convention endorsement for Governor. And the Convention nod is between Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak and newcomer Alex Balazs. There have been reports that the Rick Becker campaign sent out a message to his supporters, asking them to "spoil: their ballots, so neither candidate would get a majority vote of the delegates. Becker is seeking the nomination only in the primary, because he could not seek the Convention endorsement under party rules. He challenged US Senator John Hoeven two years ago in the primary, after losing to Hoeven in the Convention. Becker ran as an independent.


Katrina Christiansen chosen by DEM-NPL to challenge Kevin Cramer for Senate

Posted April 6, 2024 at 4:58 PM CDT

Katrina Christiansen ran for Senate against Republican John Hoeven in 2022. When that bid was unsuccessful, she said North Dakota hadn't seen the last of her.

Now she is back to challenge Republican Kevin Cramer for his seat in the Senate.

North Dakota's DEM-NPL Party has endorsed Christiansen for the race.

Christiansen was nominated by Sarah Vogel, whose nomination was seconded by Jeffrey Powell.

Vogel says Christiansen's commitment to North Dakota is unyielding, and that she's not just a candidate - she's a force to be reckoned with, and a beacon of hope for all North Dakotans.

Christiansen says her campaign is building the capacity to win, but says she's in the raise because rising to the occasion is what North Dakotans do.

Christiansen says over the next 212 days, she's going to be "all over the state" talking to North Dakotans.

Christiansen was unanimously approved by delegates at the DEM-NPL Convention.


Democrats choose Trygve Hammer to run for Congress

Posted April 6, 2024 at 4:27 PM CDT

North Dakota has one lone seat in the US House of Representatives, and the DEM-NPL Party has chosen Trygve Hammer to run for the office.

Hammer ran for the Public Service Commission in 2022, and after losing that bid he says he promised he'd be back.

Hammer says his background in the US Marine Corps and subsequent experience deployed overseas has given him a unique vantage point to view his campaign.

He says he wants to fight for Social Security and Medicare. He says patriotism is more than a flag pin on his lapel, and liberty is more than just a catch phrase.

He promised the crowd of delegates he wouldn't let them down, and run the race hard all the way to the finish.


DEM-NPL endorses Patrick Hart for Lieutenant Governor's race

Posted April 6, 2024 at 4:10 PM CDT

Patrick Hart has accepted the nomination for Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota.

Hart’s nomination was seconded by his running mate, gubernatorial candidate Merrill Piepkorn.

Hart says he thanks his family for standing by him in support of his campaign.

Hart says his upbringing on a farm in North Dakota taught him the values of hard work and community, as well as the importance of family.

He says he’s committed to restoring bipartisanship and transparency in government in North Dakota. He says good government means staying out of people’s personal decisions – from education, to business, to health care.

Hart’s nomination was unanimously affirmed by delegates at the DEM-NPL Convention in Fargo.


Piepkorn accepts nomination for Governor's race

Posted April 6, 2024 at 3:59 PM CDT

Merrill Piepkorn has accepted the nomination for Governor of North Dakota; nominated by Karla Rose Hanson and seconded by Joan Heckaman. He was unanimously approved by the 341 delegates in attendance.

Hanson said what Piepkorn brings to the governor’s race is “heart.” She says she and Piepkorn were elected to the legislature together in 2016, unseating Republicans who had held office in district 44 for eighteen years.

Piepkorn says he wants to be a governor “for the people,” for the farmers, small business owners, doctors and nurses, educators, librarians and clergy.

Piepkorn says what he’s learned from North Dakota is all about being a good neighbor, and he’s hoping to bring more of that energy to the Governor’s office.

He told the crowd of delegates, “We are in this together.”


Armstrong receives GOP Convention endorsement for Governor

Posted April 6, 2024 at 3:20 PM CDT

North Dakota's line US House member has received the endorsement of GOP Convention-goers for Governor. Kelly Armstrong was the only candidate to attend the convention. The other announced GOP candidate — Tammy Miller" decided to skip the Convention, and go right to the June primary. Armstrong also announced his choice for Lieutenant Governor, Rep. Michelle Strinden (R-Fargo).


Cramer endorsed for re-election

Posted April 6, 2024 at 2:59 PM CDT

Sen. Kevin Cramer won the GOP endorsement for re-election to the US Senate. Cramer was unopposed.


Conventions choose Presidential Electors

Posted April 6, 2024 at 11:18 AM CDT

Delegates to the GOP convention have selected former West Fargo Rep. Kim Koppelman, former Bismarck Representative Rick Becker and Sen. Jeff Magrum (R-Hazelton) to be Presidential electors for the state's three votes in the Electoral College. Becker and Magrum were nominated from the floor. Former Sen. Majority Leader Rich Wardner of Dickinson and Linda Butts of Bismarck had been nominated for the jobs — but did not make the cut. The vote totals:

Koppelman : 1,005
Becker: 843
Magrum: 787


Convention Day Two

Posted April 6, 2024 at 10:28 AM CDT

Good morning from the state Republican Convention, day two. The main things on this morning's agenda are procedural. But there will be an announcement of the delegates to the national convention, as well as the Republican electors for the Electoral College. And this afternoon, the convention will make endorsements for US Senate, Governor, US House — and will take up what promise to be some controversial resolutions. We will continue to update things for you throughout the day.


DPI letter of support given to the challenger -- Jim Bartlett

Posted April 5, 2024 at 6:05 PM CDT

The vote for the letter of support was 967 for Bartlett, and 426 for the incumbent, KIrsten Baesler. Bartlett ran on a platform of restoring the Ten Commandments to the classroom. Baesler is planning to run in the primary.


Convention supports Nagel for National Committeeman

Posted April 5, 2024 at 4:10 PM CDT

Dr. Steve Nagel of Mandan wins the GOP National Committeeman 's position. He defeated incumbent Shane Goettle. Also — Lori Hinz of Bismarck won re-election as the National Committeewoman.


State Auditor and PSC Candidates Chosen

Posted April 5, 2024 at 2:36 PM CDT

Delegates to the ND Dem-NPL Convention have endorsed Tracie L. Wilkie to run for the Public Service Commission. Tim Lamb was endorsed as the Democratic candidate for State Auditor.


Dem-NPL Convention Underway

Posted April 5, 2024 at 2:31 PM CDT

Party officials say they are approaching 300 delegates for the first day of the endorsing convention.


District 37 stays

Posted April 5, 2024 at 1:38 PM CDT

Convention delegates vote to keep the District 37 delegates at the convention. The vote was 611 to deny seating, and 835 to keep them.

GOP-District 37

Background on District 37

Posted April 5, 2024 at 1:07 PM CDT

A backgrounder on District 37: on March 24, a group of district chairs led by the Republican National Committeewoman, Lori Hinz, claimed delegates from District 37 hadn't been properly elected. The District 37 election was held in January, so critics of Hinz at the convention are calling upon NDGOP party chair Sandi Sanford to throw the challenge out and allow the delegates who were elected at the district convention to be seated.


The argument continues over District 37

Posted April 5, 2024 at 12:41 PM CDT

But the argument continues. No idea how it will go. Those making the challenge say the District didn't follow party rules, while others have said the evidence shows they did.
Watch for an update.


GOP leader calls for unity

Posted April 5, 2024 at 11:42 AM CDT

GOP Chairman Sandi Sanford called on her party to set aside differences and work together. And the issue of the seating of the District 37 delegates is now being debated. More to come.


Convention gavels in -- 45 minutes late.

Posted April 5, 2024 at 11:00 AM CDT

Credential committee report is next on the agenda. And that's where there could be a challenge to District 37. The challenge arose after some of the "Bastiat" wing of the party complained. Again, stay tuned.


Convention begins

Posted April 5, 2024 at 9:59 AM CDT

Delegates to the 2024 GOP state convention are finding their places and getting seated. About 1700 have registered. And the convention could be starting with some controversy. There is talk of an effort to remove the delegation from Legislative District 37, Dickinson — replacing the delegates elected earlier this year with a new slate of delegates. And the talk (so far) is if that happens, other districts may walk out as well. But that is only talk, so far. Stay tuned.

North Dakota State Conventions

Conventions Convene in Fargo

Posted April 4, 2024 at 5:18 PM CDT

The delegates are crowding into downtown Fargo for the GOP and Dem-NPL conventions. Parties will endorse candidates for governor, U.S. House, U.S. Senate, Insurance Commissioner, Treasurer, Public Service Commissioner, State Auditor and letters of support for the Department of Public Instruction. The official action starts Friday at 9am.