ND gubernatorial race seeing extreme fundraisingBISMARCK — The governor’s race is seeing extremes in campaign fundraising, prompting the Democratic challenger to refer to the story of David and Goliath.
BISMARCK — The governor’s race is seeing extremes in campaign fundraising, prompting the Democratic challenger to refer to the story of David and Goliath.
Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple raised about $824,000 in 2011, compared to Democrat Ryan Taylor’s nearly $47,000, according to campaign finance reports.
Paul Sorum of Fargo, who is challenging Dalrymple for the Republican nomination, raised about $19,000.
Dalrymple’s campaign manager, Amy Lunde, said they received donations from 1,200 contributors and 80 percent of donations came from North Dakota.
“People across the state recognize the governor’s commitment to their communities, and they are showing overwhelming support in return,” she said in a statement.
Among Dalrymple’s biggest contributors were Kenmare businessman Bob Mau ($26,050), Fargo entrepreneur Doug Burgum ($25,000) and Oklahoma-based Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm ($20,000).
He also received a $10,000 donation from Republican U.S. Rep. Rick and Tracy Berg, and $10,250 from Republican U.S. Sen. John and Mikey Hoeven. Dalrymple contributed $15,000 to his own campaign.
Dalrymple also received money from assorted energy companies’ political action committees, including Marathon Oil’s $5,000, Exxon Mobil’s $600 and Chesapeake Energy’s $1,000.
Sorum said he isn’t concerned about Dalrymple’s larger campaign fund and criticized the governor’s leadership. He pointed to the state Board of Higher Education seeking a state Supreme Court ruling over the Fighting Sioux nickname while Dickinson State University is facing serious audit issues.
“This is all happening because of a lack of leadership in Bismarck,” Sorum said. “It’s inexcusable and unacceptable. It’s time to change leadership in Bismarck.”
Taylor reported 220 donors and pointed out only five are from out of state. Taylor’s campaign received its biggest boost from a $10,000 contribution from the Friends of Kent Conrad committee.
Former U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., donated $500, while former Democratic Ag Commissioner Roger Johnson gave $250.
Other contributions came from party faithful from across the state, including several state legislators. Taylor received $1,000 from Katherine Satrom of Bismarck, whose husband, Joe, ran on the Democratic ticket for governor in 2004. Tom Fiebiger of Fargo, a former Democratic state lawmaker, also gave $1,000.
Taylor said he wasn’t surprised or intimidated by Dalrymple’s fundraising. He said he’s running to be “the people’s governor, not just a voice for the few.”
“We entered this race knowing exactly what we were up against, and there’s a good reason folks enjoy the story of David and Goliath where the underdog triumphs. I’m fine with being David,” Taylor said in a statement.
The Republican and Democratic political conventions are scheduled for next month.
Finneman is a multimedia reporter for Forum Communications Co.