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Local government representatives don't want partisan ID for local candidates

Representatives of North Dakota city and county government do not like a proposal to force candidates in local elections, such as city commission, school board or other elected boards, to have party identifications.

Minot Republican Representative Scott Louser has drafted a bill he wants to introduce in the 2019 session.

"I think that's an inherently bad idea," said North Dakota League of Cities executive director Blake Crosby. "The very foundation of local government is non-partisanship."

Crosby said injecting partisan politics into local government is against that notion.

"I don't think it would accomplish anything, other than to make local government inefficient," Crosby said.

North Dakota Association of Counties executive director Mark Johnson said this idea has been floated before.

"We do not believe declaring party at the local level would generate more interest," Johnson said. "We really have resisted it."

Crosby and Johnson said they worry the measure would discourage people from running for those local offices.

But Louser said a party ID would give voters a better idea of who they’re voting for – or against.

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