GRAND FORKS — Doug Burgum has built much of his campaign for North Dakota governor around his business acumen. The Republican candidate often references his time building Great Plains Software, a company that eventually was sold to Microsoft in 2001 for $1.1 billion. He’s also been part of other software, agricultural and real estate companies. But to what extent Burgum does or does not remain involved with those businesses if he’s elected governor on Nov. 8 is unclear.
BISMARCK – The prosecutor who accused the director of North Dakota’s largest state agency and four other current or former employees of impeding the investigation into the swimming-related death of a 5-year-old girl last summer asked a judge Friday to dismiss the charges against the three remaining defendants.
BISMARCK – As he counted down the days to retirement, John Walstad summed up his 35 years of drafting bills for North Dakota lawmakers with the dry wit that endeared him to so many in the Capitol. “I do what I understand they want, as best I can,” he said, “and then I hand it to them and say, ‘OK, it’s your problem now.’ ”
BISMARCK – An attorney for Native Americans fighting recent changes to North Dakota’s voter identification laws said Thursday a federal appeals court ruling this week declaring a similar Texas law to be discriminatory “certainly enhances our case.”
BISMARCK – A Democratic state lawmaker plans to introduce a bill during next month’s special session that could delay construction of a new multimillion-dollar governor’s residence, saying it “doesn’t look too smart” to start the project when the state is struggling financially.
BISMARCK – Forty-nine points. That was the polling gap between Doug Burgum and longtime Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem in February, about a month after the millionaire Fargo entrepreneur made his game-changing announcement that he would seek the Republican nomination for governor.
BISMARCK – In their final debate before Tuesday’s primary election, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem on Friday attacked Fargo businessman Doug Burgum’s claim that he is pro-life, accusing him of asking Gov. Jack Dalrymple to veto an anti-abortion bill, which Burgum denied doing. Conservative talk show host Scott Hennen moderated the hour-long debate on AM 1100 The Flag, taking listeners’ questions for the two candidates, one of whom will advance to the November election as the Republican nominee for governor.
BISMARCK – Energy-efficient LED lights could illuminate streets in more than a dozen North Dakota cities with an overall cost savings to customers, Xcel Energy says. The state Public Service Commission is considering a request from Xcel to add an LED option to its street lighting service in North Dakota, and to increase its streetlight tariff to compensate for the switch to more expensive LED, or light-emitting diode, streetlights.
BISMARCK – State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt said Wednesday she will seek a fourth term in office and won’t run for governor next year, leaving just one question mark among Republicans who have said they’re considering a gubernatorial bid. Schmidt said she made the decision a couple weeks ago after conferring with family, former GOP delegates, district chairs and others who told her she would be a good governor but is needed more in the treasurer’s office.
BISMARCK – A slew of overreaching federal regulations poses a bigger threat to oil and gas development in North Dakota than slumping crude prices, an industry group leader said Wednesday after updating state lawmakers on regulatory challenges confronting the industry. Drilling activity in North Dakota has dropped by nearly two-thirds in the past year, with 66 active rigs on Wednesday, down from 190 a year ago.