MINOT, N.D. — For the most part, candidates representing the Democratic-NPL don't do very well in North Dakota because the Democratic party brand is toxic in our state for many excellent reasons.
But you really can't ignore how incompetent the party is when it comes to the basics of running campaigns.
The Democratic-NPL's adventures in the insurance commissioner race continue. Earlier this year, the party endorsed, then nominated, Travisia Martin to challenge incumbent Republican Jon Godfread. Only Martin wasn't eligible for the office. She voted in Nevada in 2016, something that, when done legally, requires you to be a resident of that state, and North Dakota's constitution requires five years of residency in the state before you can be elected to statewide office.
Anyone with the reading comprehension of a middle schooler and a third-grader's math skills understood that Martin was disqualified. Still, the Democrats, instead of admitting the error and moving on, insisted on litigating the issue to the state Supreme Court anyway.
Then the Democrats insisted that they should get to replace Martin on their ticket with another candidate, Jason Anderson, believing, I guess, that there is an exception to state election law for incompetence.
There is not, and they lost at the Supreme Court again.
In a raging fit of pique and clearly out for revenge, the Democratic-NPL then alleged that a Republican lawmaker was ineligible for the ballot this cycle because he lives in Wyoming. They lost that argument at the Supreme Court as well.
Now the Democrats are down to touting Anderson for insurance commissioner as a write-in candidate, as my colleague Michelle Griffith reported a few days ago. Only, as of yesterday, Anderson isn't eligible as a write-in.
Section 16.1-12-02.2 of the North Dakota Century Code states that for a write-in candidate for statewide office to be eligible, they must get a certification from the secretary of state's office.
"An individual who intends to be a write-in candidate for president of the United States or for statewide or judicial district office at any election shall file a certificate of write-in candidacy with the secretary of state by four p.m. on the twenty-first day before the election," the law says.
The 21st day before the election was Tuesday, Oct. 13. I checked with Secretary of State Al Jaeger this morning, Oct. 14, for the list of write-in candidates certified.
These are the candidates certified for statewide office:
- Michael Coachman, Larimore – Governor
- Jamie Brager, West Fargo – Governor
- Bruce Moe, Hillsboro – Governor
- Charles Tuttle, Minot – Supt. of Public Instruction
These are the candidates certified for the presidency:
- Howie Hawkins, New York – President
- Kasey Wells, Illinois – President
- Brian Carroll, California – President
- Mark Charles, Washington, D.C. – President
- Brock Pierce, San Juan Puerto Rico – President
- Jade Simmons, Texas - President
Jason Anderson, the Democratic-NPL candidate for insurance commissioner.
It's not like the requirements for a write-in candidate are hard to find. As Secretary Jaeger noted to me in an email, they're clearly posted on the state's website, and several candidates availed themselves of certification.
The Democratic-NPL just couldn't get their act together.
Liberals in North Dakota are fond of inventing reasons for why Democrats can't win elections here. They talk about gerrymandering. They allege corruption. They shout at clouds about the "good old boys" club.
It might serve them well to pause, amid the excuse-making, to reflect on the competency of the people running their elected party.
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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.