Press Pass: Crossover votes helped Burgum but didn't give him the win, Gladstone mayor still unknown, Oil production drops in April

Here's some of our top stories from Thursday's edition. It's your Press Pass to some of the best stories we bring you every day. Want your Press Pass fast? Sign up for our email alerts. Votes by Democrats helped Burgum but weren't the difference,...


Here’s some of our top stories from Thursday’s edition. It’s your Press Pass to some of the best stories we bring you every day.

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Votes by Democrats helped Burgum but weren’t the difference, observers say State Sen. George Sinner didn’t need to see the results of Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary to know that a lot of Democrats voted Republican to help Fargo entrepreneur Doug Burgum score a 20-point upset over Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem for the GOP nomination.

The Fargo Democrat just looked at his own race.


In the 2012 primary, Sinner received 1,275 votes. On Tuesday, facing the same opponent, he got just 485.

ND oil production has largest drop ever in April
North Dakota oil production had its largest drop ever in April, falling more than 6 percent to 1.04 million barrels per day, the Department of Mineral Resources said Wednesday.

Director Lynn Helms attributed the 70,400-barrel-per-day drop to the ongoing oil industry slowdown, but said weather and other factors made the decline “abnormally high.”

“I don’t anticipate that this is the beginning of a trend or we’re going to see additional months with this kind of drop,” Helms said.

Gladstone’s mayor is still unknown

It’s still unclear who the new mayor of Gladstone will be and it may be that way for some time.


Chase Fred, a regional manager at Patterson-UTI Drilling Co., said he was “shocked” when he woke up Wednesday morning and learned that he had won both his city council race, which he ran for, and the mayoral race based on Tuesday’s write-in vote totals.

“If I wanted to run for mayor, I would have run for it,” said Fred, who was appointed to the Gladstone City Council last August. “I know Darcy (Fossum) ran a hard campaign, he worked hard at it. And that was the last thing I seen coming.”

City Commission will likely address open seat in first July meeting

In the light of a new day and new leadership for the city of Dickinson, officials can now turn their eyes away from the campaign trail and towards consolidating a new government.

City Commissioner Scott Decker’s successful run for commission president and mayor has added to that task by opening up his former seat on that five-person board, which creates a situation in which a vote could be evenly split with no tiebreaker.

City administrator Shawn Kessel said Wednesday that the scenario is the same as when Dennis Johnson, former commission president, resigned at the end of last October. That resignation caused Gene Jackson, the commission vice president at that time, to fill the president’s seat until the end of Johnson’s term. Joe Frenzel, a former commissioner, was appointed to fill out the rest of Jackson’s term.

PSC to decide on Brady Wind I today

The North Dakota Public Service Commission will meet at 12:30 p.m. MT today at the State Capitol building to vote on the proposed Brady Wind Energy Center I wind farm project in southern Stark County.


NextEra Energy Resources presented information on the 87-turbine, 150-megawatt project to the PSC on March 31. The commissioners have been deliberating it since during work sessions.

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