North Dakota state government is well managed and its statewide officeholders reflect the views of residents, who prefer a government that is responsive but not intrusive. The slate of candidates up for reelection is a roster of experienced, steady hands at the wheel who deserve to stay on the job.
So we endorse Wayne Stenehjem to remain attorney general, Al Jaeger to remain secretary of state, Doug Goehring to remain agriculture commissioner and the two incumbents on the Public Service Commission, Randy Christmann and Brian Kroshus, to continue in those roles. Voters also should elect Justice Lisa Fair McEvers to stay on the North Dakota Supreme Court.
Stenehjem is well-known to North Dakota voters, having served as attorney general since 2001. A Republican, he’s now North Dakota’s longest-serving attorney general. Stenehjem has made drug enforcement a priority, backing legislation to coordinate efforts between law enforcement, health and human services, addiction counseling and youth education. He’s also worked to combat domestic violence, establish the sex offender website and an online identity theft program. He’s an effective prosecutor and top lawyer for the state.
Jaeger is also a familiar name on the ballot, having first been elected secretary of state in 1992. He has modernized North Dakota’s election system - acknowledged to be one of the best in the country - and is working to roll out the new FirstStop system for business registrations. He’s a fair and knowledgeable top election official. Although running as an independent, Jaeger has the support of the Republican Party.
Goehring, a third generation farmer who farms with his son near Menoken, has been agriculture commissioner since 2009. Goehring has been active for years in many farm organizations, so his pulse is on the needs of both crop and animal agriculture, and he was an early supporter of farm-grown renewable fuels, such as ethanol. A Republican, he deserves another term.
Christmann, who was elected to the Public Service Commission in 2012, serves as chairman of the group, which regulates utilities and has an important role in overseeing energy development in the state. Before he was elected to the PSC, Christmann, a Republican, served in the North Dakota Senate and once served as a legislative appointee to the Lignite Research Council. He operates a 107-year-old, third generation cattle ranch west of Hazen.
Kroshus is the newest member of the Public Service Commission, having been appointed by Gov. Doug Burgum in March 2017. He came to the commission with a background in business, agriculture and energy. A Fargo native and graduate of North Dakota State University, Kroshus has 30 years of business management experience at publications including the Farm and Ranch Guide and the Bismarck Tribune. Despite his short tenure, Kroshus, a Republican, has been quick to grasp the complexities of the job and voters should keep him on the commission.
McEvers has extensive legal experience, including private practice and serving as an assistant state’s attorney in Cass County. Gov. John Hoeven appointed McEvers North Dakota labor commissioner in 2005, and five years later Hoeven appointed her District Judge. She was elected to the position two years later, in 2012. Gov. Jack Dalrymple appointed McEvers to the North Dakota Supreme Court in 2014, and she was reelected in 2016. She’s also served on the Judicial Education Commission, Judiciary Standards Committee and Juvenile Policy Board, which she currently chairs, among many other legal-judicial roles. Her experience is well-rounded and voters should keep her on the state’s highest court.
North Dakota voters should stay the course in electing statewide officeholders.