Lenz, Alvarez run for DEM-NPL leadership

Dr. Shelly Lenz and Cesar Alvarez, both from rural western North Dakota, announced today that they are running as a team for chair/vice-chair of the North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party in elections to be held this spring.

Dr. Shelley Lenz, pictured above, is running as a team with Cesar Alvarez for the May 8 election for chair/vice-chair of the North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party. (File Photo)

Dr. Shelley Lenz, the 2020 Democrat-NPL candidate for North Dakota governor, and Cesar Alvarez, announced Monday that they are running as a team for chair/vice-chair of the North Dakota DEM-NPL elections which are set for May 8.

Both from rural western North Dakota, Lenz and Alvarez bring different perspectives to the role. Following her run for the 2020 North Dakota Governor Election, Lenz saw her loss to Gov. Doug Burgum as an opportunity to come back and support rural areas such as Dickinson and Killdeer.

“I’m a big advocate for rural lifestyle and advocacy, and North Dakota is a rural state. What I’ve found was that our one-party system of largely just Republicans, is just not serving North Dakota well,” Lenz said in a Press interview. “And I felt that I gleaned from my campaign for governor, I feel that I hear what the people are saying and it is time that we revamp the DEM-NPL to be a very specific North Dakota party. (These) are the issues I heard when I was out there.”

Lenz said that she hopes to reconstruct the platform of the DEM-NPL, by focusing on “five simple active issues” which will be determined by connecting to the voters. Some of the main issues Lenz addressed in a Press interview include local economic stability, health care, access to health care and education.

As the founder and owner of State Ave Vet Clinic in Dickinson and Killdeer Vet Clinic, Lenz said she believes her previous business experience makes her run for candidacy stand out. She is also the founder and president of Sustainable Vets International, which is a nonprofit that focuses on sustainable economic development in underserved regions of the world. Lenz added that she has served an executive role for the past 20 years and sees herself as “the captain of the team.”


“The one-party dominance in North Dakota is not serving all North Dakotans. It’s time we get back to our roots and make sure that our government is working for all of us. North Dakota has a long history of independence and self-reliance. We want to make sure that our government is focusing on the pertinent issues and working toward both home-grown and shared prosperity,” Lenz said in Monday’s press release. “Our collective experience as a veterinarian and rural business leader serving as Chair, and a 100th generation North Dakotan tribal member with vast experience in policy and governance as Vice-Chair, will bring a synergistic energy and unique perspective to our party’s leadership and future.”

Alvarez is a MHA Tribal Citizen, born and raised in New Town. Alvarez earned his bachelor’s of arts in government from Harvard University and is a political advisor to North Dakota Native Vote, serves on the Bush Foundation North Dakota Advisory Committee and he serves as an Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison for the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation-Four Bears Segment.

“I am excited to bring my extensive experience and passion in government relations coupled with my deep commitment to my community and our land to have a leading voice in the shaping of our party,” Alvarez stated in a press release.

Cesar Alvarez is pictured. (Submitted Photo)

Jackie Jahfetson is a former reporter for The Dickinson Press.
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