Plain Talk: Congressman Armstrong on winning re-election, the new Congress, and Trump

On this episode of Plain Talk, Armstrong argued that, despite Republicans not living up to "red wave" expectations, they've gained ground in the legislative chamber he serves in for three straight election cycles.

U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., speaks at an election party in Bismarck flanked by his wife, Kjersti, on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.
Kyle Martin/ The Forum
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MINOT, N.D. — Nationally, Republicans didn't perform as well in the midterm elections as expected. The "red wave" was more of a "red mist."

North Dakota Republicans bucked that trend, though, and Congressman Kelly Armstrong's re-election was a part of that.

On this episode of Plain Talk, he argued that, despite Republicans not living up to "red wave" expectations, they've gained ground in the legislative chamber he serves in for three straight election cycles.

As for why the NDGOP did better than Republicans nationally? Armstrong said a part of it is because our state's chief industries, agriculture and energy, were a bigger priority than some of the hot-button issues, such as abortion, that dominated campaign messaging.

Also, he said, it didn't help Democratic turnout that the party axed their own House candidate in the middle of the election year.


As for Donald Trump, who announced a new campaign for the White House in 2024, Armstrong was noncommittal. "This is why we have a primary process," he said. "Nobody is entitled" to the party's nomination, or to be elected, he added.

Armstrong also discussed why he supported Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House for what will presumably be a narrow GOP majority, what Republicans need to do in the next two years to expand on those majorities, and how Congress should handle the war between Ukraine and Russia.

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Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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