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Killdeer native, legislator gets White House invite

Kylie Oversen

GRAND FORKS — Kylie Oversen will travel to Washington this week for a White House holiday reception.

That much is known to the Grand Forks state legislator and Killdeer native, but what exactly the reception will entail and why she was invited remain a bit unclear.

“It was a complete surprise,” Oversen, a Democrat who represents the University of North Dakota area in the state House. “I have no idea how it happened. I assume it was something through the state Democratic Party.”

Oversen received a letter inviting her to the White House late last week, and she will fly Thursday to visit the nation’s capital for the second time in her life.

It will be the first time she’s visited the White House, and she anticipates there will some sort of receiving line for people to greet President Barack Obama.

“It’s probably going to be the highlight of my year,” Oversen said. “I’m proud of the work he’s done and I’m very excited to meet him. I think it’s just a once-in-lifetime opportunity.”

Grand Forks Democrats Chairwoman Becky Ronkowski, who was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, was also invited to a reception at the White House along with her husband Keith. And Oversen said she knows of several other legislators from elsewhere in the state who received invites.

Oversen said she’s eager to represent North Dakota in Washington.

“I think a lot of people discount North Dakota, and they don’t realize how great of a state it is out here,” she said. “I think people need to take a chance to come see the state and see what we have to offer.”

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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