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Dalrymple to announce appointment of state tax commissioner on Friday

BISMARCK – Gov. Jack Dalrymple will announce on Friday his appointment to the state tax commissioner’s post being vacated by current Commissioner Cory Fong's pending exit to the private sector.

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The three finalists for the job are Jon Godfread, vice president of governmental affairs for the Greater North Dakota Chamber of Commerce; Hazen Mayor Mark Nygard, who retired last year as manager of construction for Basin Electric Power Cooperative; and current Deputy Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger, who’s been in that position since June 2009.

Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley said Thursday he “extensively” interviewed all three finalists, including asking them whether they would be willing to run next year for election to a full four-year term as tax commissioner. Fong’s current term expires at the end of 2014.

“There are some differences in their backgrounds, but they’re all impressive,” Wrigley said.

Wrigley said that after the interviews, he recommended two finalists to Dalrymple, and then he and the governor interviewed the two remaining finalists.

Fong, who was appointed tax commissioner in 2005 by then-Gov. John Hoeven, announced last month that he was resigning the post effective Dec. 31 to go to work for Odney, a Bismarck-based advertising, marketing and public relations firm.

Wrigley said two other people informally inquired about the job but didn’t submit resumes.

Dalrymple will make the announcement at 10 a.m. at the Capitol in Bismarck.

North Dakota’s tax commissioner is paid an annual salary of $105,050, which will increase to $108,202 next July.

Mike Nowatzki

Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.