Governor | Prairie Public Broadcasting


Gov. Walter Welford

May 21, 2020

North Dakota has had a handful of foreign-born governors. Ragnvold Nestos and John Moses were born in Norway, with Roger Allin and Walter Welford born in England.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The first declared Democratic candidate for North Dakota Governor said she’s running to be an “independent voice” that will balance the political discussion in the state.

51 year old Shelley Lenz is a veterinarian from Killdeer. She had served on the Killdeer school board. And she told Bismarck reporters one of the reasons she’s running is to reflect the frustration of people from western North Dakota.

Louis B. Hanna

Mar 6, 2019

On this date in 1908, North Dakotan Louis Benjamin Hanna announced his candidacy Congress. The Golden Valley Chronicle was one of many newspapers that ran a detailed statement of Hanna’s platform. He said it was time to remove tariffs where the “only effect is to impose unnecessary burdens on the public.” He specifically mentioned the tariff on lumber. He said it was important for the President to appoint a tariff commission. This nonpartisan committee would study all facets of tariffs and make recommendations to the President and Congress.

Gov. Roger Allin

Dec 18, 2018

North Dakota went through seven governors in its first decade of statehood, none of whom served more than one two-year term. One of them was Roger Allin, the state’s fourth governor. Allin was born on this date in Devonshire, England in 1848. He was North Dakota’s first foreign-born governor.

Forget-Me-Not Day

Sep 24, 2018

Supporting America’s troops has taken different forms throughout the years. The Great War was still in recent memory when various groups spread out throughout Bismarck-Mandan to sell handmade forget-me-nots to honor and support disabled American military veterans in 1937. On this date, the Bismarck Tribune reported that Governor Bill Langer had declared the following day as “Forget-Me-Not Day.”

The men who served as governors of Dakota Territory were a colorful cast of characters. One of them was John Albyne Burbank. President Grant was new to the White House when he appointed Burbank as Dakota’s fourth governor in 1869, along with a caravan of other officials: territorial secretary, chief justice, marshal, internal revenue officers, postmaster and Indian agents, to name a few.


Dakota Territory had a messy few years under Governor Nehemiah Ordway. He was a New Hampshire state legislator who President Hayes appointed as the territorial governor in 1880, after William A. Howard died in office.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Gov. Doug Burgum continues to talk about expanding North Dakota’s technology sector and his “Mainstreet Initiative.”

But Legislative leaders say they’re waiting for more policy specifics from Burgum.

The Governor outlined those issues in his talk to the Greater North Dakota Chamber’s Policy Summit in Bismarck.  Burgum talked about the state stepping up its game in technology, and discussed how the state needs to attract and keep workers. He said one way to do that is to make the cities more livable.

Prairie Public

A subcommittee of Senate Appropriations will consider an amendment to the Governor’s budget – so Governor Burgum would not be taking a salary.

The Governor’s salary is now $157,000 a year. Burgum has offered to take no pay as Governor.

"Fundamentallym his job is to lead," said Sen. David Hogue (R-Minot), the chairman of the subcommittee studying the Governor’s budget. "To do that, sometimes he has to set an example."

Hogue said he hopes the Legislature will be able to do that without making it "a bigger deal than what it really is."

Burgum state of the state -- more belt tightening, some new initiatives

Jan 4, 2017

In his first State of the State Address, Governor Doug Burgum called on lawmakers to dig-deeper when it comes to finding budget savings and create ways to make government more efficient,

"Gov. (Jack) Dalrymple's proposed budget for 2-17-19 would reduce general fund spending by roughly $1.2 billion," Burgumm said. "That's a great start. But given the revenue uncertainty, we must dig deeper."