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Dalrymple wins GOP endorsement for governor

Gov. Jack Dalrymple

BISMARCK -- Gov. Jack Dalrymple pledged to hold the line on spending, work for greater tax cuts and meet the needs of western North Dakota if he's elected to his own term as governor in November.

Dalrymple defeated Fargo architect Paul Sorum for the Republican gubernatorial endorsement during the party's state convention Saturday, receiving 1,128 votes compared to Sorum's 478.

Sorum defeated Dalrymple in six of the 47 districts: District 10 in northeastern North Dakota, Districts 11, 21 and 41 in Fargo, and Districts 18 and 42 in Grand Forks.

Dalrymple said he stood before the Republican Party two years ago and said he was ready to take the reins of state government.

"I promised I would do my very best with your help to take North Dakota to a new level of pride and prosperity," he said. "Well, with Drew Wrigley as my lieutenant governor, we achieved our goal and, today, North Dakota is the envy of the nation."

Dalrymple highlighted the state's thousands of job openings, low unemployment rate and rising personal income. "My friends, our policies are working," he said.

It's not just about statistics but creating a better life for people in North Dakota, Dalrymple said. He told the story of a Beulah mother who was once resigned to her children and grandchildren living far from North Dakota. In the last year, all three of her children have landed jobs within driving distance of Beulah, he said.

Dalrymple said he wants mothers across the state to be able to share stories about their children finding opportunities in North Dakota.

"I am ready and eager to help North Dakota realize this vision," Dalrymple said.

Dalrymple also highlighted the state's challenges in his speech, including rebuilding Minot after last summer's devastating flood and dealing with the oil and gas impacts in western North Dakota.

He vowed the work will continue until Minot is rebuilt and said more help is on the way for western North Dakota.

"We will not fail to meet the needs of the people of western North Dakota," Dalrymple said.

Dalrymple said the state has struck the right balance by investing in priorities, saving for the future and cutting taxes.

"Some people say that we have spent too much and, at the same time, other people say we have not spent enough," Dalrymple said. "Our principles on spending are clear: We have not and we will not spend more on ongoing programs than we receive in ongoing revenues."

He told Republicans not to be misled by comments about large increases in state spending, saying that includes tax relief, making up for cuts in senior programs and one-time infrastructure improvements.

Dalrymple grew up in Casselton on the family farm, established in 1875 as North Dakota's first large-scale wheat farm.

He graduated with honors from Yale and returned to North Dakota to manage the farming operations. He and his wife, Betsy, have four daughters.

He served eight terms in the North Dakota Legislature and served as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

In 2000, he was elected lieutenant governor and served in that post with former Gov. John Hoeven until Hoeven was elected to the U.S. Senate in late 2010. Dalrymple has served as the state's governor since and appointed Wrigley, a former U.S. attorney, as his lieutenant governor.

During his convention speech seeking the party's endorsement, Sorum vowed to return North Dakota government to Republican principles.

"The biggest commitment I can make to you today is that I will work for you," he said. "I have taken a pledge to our core Republican principles because Republican principles are our founding principles of freedom, self-government, private property rights, limited government."

Sorum said he believes the state is headed in the wrong direction and criticized the increase in state spending over the past 10 years. He also said he would stand up to the Environmental Protection Agency and any efforts that threaten North Dakota industries.

Dalrymple and Wrigley will face Senate Minority Leader Ryan Taylor of Towner and former Valley City State University President Ellen Chaffee in the November election.

The governor's annual salary is $113,594. The lieutenant governor's salary is $88,183.

Finneman is a multimedia reporter for Forum Communications Co.