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Longtime GOP lawmaker Kretschmar defeated; Dickinson rep also loses re-election bid

BISMARCK - One of the North Dakota Legislature's longest-serving Republicans was defeated in his House re-election bid Tuesday, after previously losing the district's endorsement.

BISMARCK – One of the North Dakota Legislature’s longest-serving Republicans was defeated in his House re-election bid Tuesday, after previously losing the district’s endorsement.

Rep. William Kretschmar, an attorney from Venturia who has served in the House for all but four years since 1973, lost the District 28 GOP endorsement to Barton Schott of Kulm but decided to run for the party’s nomination anyway in Tuesday’s primary. In House primaries, the top two vote-getters from each party advance to the November election.

With all 21 precincts reporting, Kretschmar and Schott lost to incumbent Rep. Mike Brandenburg of Edgeley and Jeffery Magrum of Hazelton. Kretschmar and Schott each received about 18 percent of the vote, while Brandenburg received between 31 percent and Magrum 33 percent.

The winners will run unopposed in November, as Democrats failed to field House candidates in the district.

In House District 36, Luke Simons of Dickinson knocked out incumbent Rep. Alan Fehr of Dickinson, who had lost the district’s GOP endorsement to Simons. With all 15 precincts reporting, Simons received 38 percent to Fehr’s 25 percent. Incumbent Rep. Mike Schatz of New England moved on with 37 percent.

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District 14 incumbent Reps. Jon Nelson of Rugby and Robin Weisz of Hurdsfield withstood challenges from Albert Krueger of Harvey and Dennis Fred of Rugby, who resigned his duties as district chairman at the request of the state party chairman because he challenged his district’s endorsed candidates.

With all 22 precincts reporting, results showed 37 percent for Weisz, 32 percent for Nelson, 18 percent for Krueger and 13 percent for Fred.

District 14 Sen. Jerry Klein of Fessenden also fended off a challenge from Glen Baltrusch of Harvey, winning 79 percent to 21 percent.

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