The general election on Tuesday will likely not have much of an impact on the leadership in the North Dakota Legislature, officials said.

“At least for the near future, you would expect that the Republicans will continue to dominate statewide offices,” said Nicholas Bauroth, an associate professor of political science at North Dakota State University. “There doesn’t seem to be much suspense about that.”

The North Dakota House has 94 seats. Republicans control a supermajority with 71 seats. Republicans also have a supermajority in the Senate with 33 of the 47 seats.

There are 40 Republican seats up for grabs in the House this election, meaning Democrats have to keep all of their current seats and win 25 for the majority. In the Senate, Democrats only need 10 of the 20 Republican seats, plus keep their current spots, to gain the lead.

There are districts where Democrats will not have a chance to gain control. The Senate race has six seats where Republicans are running unopposed. The House has 11 Republican seats with no opponents.

Republicans seem to do well at a state level is because it is hard to break the molds - especially in the absence of a recession, Bauroth said. Unemployment approached 10 percent across the country in 2010, while North Dakota’s has hovered around 2 percent since the oil boom began less than a decade ago.

“The effects of the recession was avoided here,” he said. “The party in charge at the time - the Republican party having control of the state House, Senate and governorship - could just point to it and say, ‘We are running our affairs well.’”

He added: “It has become sort of the one-party control of all the statewide offices. Once you have one party in control, it is really hard to break that. As long as things are going OK, and there are no scandals, it is hard to convince people to change over.”

Even if the chances of Democrats taking control are slim, that hasn’t stopped candidates from saying change is needed. Democrat Stephanie Pretzer, the District 39 Senate candidate from Scranton running against Republican incumbent Bill Bowman of Bowman acknowledged that it would be hard for Democrats to gain a majority in the two chambers.

However, she still wants the opportunity to callout other lawmakers and keep them in check.

“There is such a supermajority and such a one-sided way of thinking,” Pretzer said. “Right now, there is really no one to watch what the other legislators are doing.”

Pretzer said she just wants good legislation to get passed.

“I was not very impressed by the last legislative session,” Pretzer said. “We have three elected officials in (District 39), where oil development is out of control, but at the same time none of them really fought for the funding needed.”

Pretzer specifically criticized Bowman’s vote against Senate Bill 1358, which provided more money to North Dakota cities that have more than 1 percent of their workforce employed in oil-related jobs - namely Dickinson, Williston and Minot.

Bowman defended his vote in an interview with Forum News Service, stating the bill took funds away from the counties to support “hub cities.”

“I guess I have a problem with that,” Pretzer said. “(The people) need a champion, and they don’t have one.”

It was difficult to react to the rate of change from the oil boom in 2011 and 2013, said Rep. Vicky Steiner, R-Dickinson, who is on the District 37 House ticket with Republican Mike Lefor of Dickinson. Both are running against Democrat Mandy Kubik of Dickinson.

Steiner said it is important to look at the issues of today and plan for the future rather than focus on the past.

“I think it is pretty easy to criticize as an armchair quarterback,” Steiner said. “I don’t think we can look backwards if we are going to look forward.”

She mentioned a group of western Republican legislators have proposed an $800 million “surge” plan; much of it would fund infrastructure in oil-producing counties if approved. Another bill would funnel 60 percent of the oil tax revenue to communities impacted by the energy industry.

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, who headed the “surge” plan, said he is confident the two bills passed.

“There are a lot of people supporting us on those two bills,” said Wardner, a Dickinson Republican. “This legislation wasn’t built in a room in the Capitol in Bismarck. These bills were built in the counties and cities in western North Dakota.”

One race to watch is the bid for agriculture commissioner, Bauroth said. Former state Sen. Ryan Taylor, D-Towner, is running against Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring with a focus on protecting landowner rights and promoting agriculture.

It appears Democrats have placed their bets on Taylor, Bauroth added.

“I think if you are watching the Democrats that are running for agriculture commission and other positions, that is one of the things that they are trying to differentiate and say, ‘It’s all well and good to have an oil boom, but there is a downside to it,’ and they raise questions as to whether the Republicans are managing it well or are asleep at the wheel,” Bauroth said. “They are certainly trying to bring out the conflicts that are out there.”

Steiner said the legislators will come back in 2017 if there are not enough funds.

“We are just trying to get our communities back on their feet,” she said.

Pretzer said there needs to be more balance in the Legislature. She added she knows voters are conservative, but she still wants a chance to work for them.

“I just want them (the voters) to step out of party lines and vote for the person,” she said. “I know fight for them. I know I will do more for them than what they have.”