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Jaeger submits signatures for independent North Dakota secretary of state bid

N.D. Secretary of State Al Jaeger leaves the podium after his speech seeking the Republican nomination for the office he's held since 1993. Eric Hylden / Forum News Service file photo

BISMARCK — North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger submitted more than 1,300 signatures to his own office Thursday, Aug. 9, as the Republican incumbent mounts an independent bid for the post he's held for more than 25 years.

Jaeger appeared to be on the way out after losing the Republican endorsement to Will Gardner this year. But Gardner dropped out once his 2006 peeping arrest surfaced, and Jaeger later received a "letter of support" from the state Republican Party in June.

Jaeger needed 1,000 signatures by Sept. 4 to appear on the November ballot as an independent. His own staff will be tasked with verifying the signatures he submitted, but Jaeger said he won't be involved.

"I went through the same process as any other candidate," he said. "I was the candidate (while dropping off signatures), I wasn't necessarily the secretary of state at the time."

Democratic state Rep. Joshua Boschee is his party's candidate for the office, which oversees the state's elections and handles business filings, among other duties.

The secretary of state's race is also the subject of an unusual statewide recount after the Libertarian candidate, frequent office-seeker Roland Riemers, failed to receive the 300 votes needed to nab his party's nomination during the June primary election.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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