The District 16 Republican Party endorsed three candidates for the North Dakota Legislature at its endorsing convention last Tuesday evening in Fargo.
David Duff was endorsed for the North Dakota Senate, while Ben Koppelman and Mark Puppe were endorsed for the North Dakota House of Representatives.
District 16 is new to Cass County and includes combined portions of south Fargo and West Fargo.
Puppe, a local businessman, favors tax relief by reprioritizing how the state collects and spends funds.
"The state's surplus came from people's income, property and purchases," he said. "It establishes lawmakers' inarguable obligation to redefine budget priorities and strive for balance."
He highlighted legislators' duty to consider policy issues with a statewide perspective. "Energy, infrastructure, agriculture, education and other issues impact state far beyond their specific industry, region or demographic," Puppe said. "Living and working throughout the state distinguishes my understanding of the fact that legislators who adhere to that truth open doors and relations not just in the capitol, but across the board."
Puppe said permanent flood protection is a high priority, but a well-developed plan for a diversion is prerequisite for success.
Puppe founded and operates the Fargo-based communications consulting and writing company Master Manuscripts. He is the former assistant director of the Professional Insurance Agents of North Dakota and alum of NDSU and the UND School of Law.
Duff has a background in emergency medical services, emergency management, public health, and education, and is currently completing a doctorate program at North Dakota State University.
He has two children and resides in Fargo.
Koppelman is the current West Fargo School Board President and a member of the State Electrical Board. He is completing his term on the School Board, and announced his intention not to seek re-election there, in order to run for the Legislature.
He is the owner of Vision Construction, and one of the owners of Basement Technologies of North Dakota. Ben Koppelman and his wife, Julie, have two children and reside in West Fargo.