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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BISMARCK — Kelly Armstrong and Tom Campbell will compete this weekend for the North Dakota Republican Party's backing to run for Congress, but it may not be the last time they meet. Armstrong, a Dickinson state senator and former state GOP chairman, has said he'll abide by the party faithful's endorsement when they convene at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks and won't mount a primary election challenge if he loses. But his competitor, a fellow state senator and Grafton potato farmer, was far less committal this week.
BISMARCK — An attorney challenging North Dakota's voter ID law welcomed a federal judge's ruling Wednesday, April 4, that expands Native Americans' options at the polls but eliminates voter affidavits.
BISMARCK—Fifty-two North Dakota Republican convention delegates who had fees covered by congressional candidate Tom Campbell have reimbursed the state party, a GOP official said Tuesday, April 3. The disclosure came just days before the state Republican convention that will pit Campbell, a state senator and potato farmer from Grafton, against Dickinson state Sen. Kelly Armstrong, the former state GOP chairman. Armstrong slammed Campbell last month for "buying a vote" by paying delegate fees while acknowledging it's not against party rules.
BISMARCK — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will deliver the keynote address during the North Dakota Republican state convention this weekend in Grand Forks, state GOP Chairman Rick Berg said Tuesday, April 3. Zinke was a Republican congressman from Montana before joining President Donald Trump’s Cabinet. His speech is scheduled for early Saturday afternoon at the Alerus Center.
BISMARCK—North Dakota lawmakers examined a bill draft Monday, April 2, that newspaper representatives warned would keep people in the dark about government actions but proponents said could cut costs by easing public notice requirements. The proposed legislation would allow county governments to publish its meeting minutes and election returns on its website or in the local newspaper. That would be a departure from current law, which mandates publication in the newspaper.
BISMARCK — The head of the North Dakota Newspaper Association raised alarms Friday, March 30, over a legislative bill draft that he said would reduce government transparency. The bill, which will be discussed at Monday's meeting of the interim Judiciary Committee at the state Capitol, would allow county governments to publish "a full and complete report of its official proceedings" and election returns on its website or official newspaper. State law currently requires that information to be published in the newspaper.
BISMARCK—A North Dakota Republican congressional candidate this week defended his 2013 legislative vote supporting a bill amendment that a top Fargo-Moorhead diversion backer remembered as a potentially devastating blow to the massive flood protection project. Dickinson state Sen. Kelly Armstrong maintains he supports the diversion, arguing his vote was aimed at ensuring the federal government's commitment for what's now expected to be a $2.4 billion project.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Industrial Commission approved $146.7 million in loans to the city of Fargo Wednesday, March 28, to expand its wastewater treatment plant. The three-member commission, chaired by Gov. Doug Burgum, unanimously approved two loans, one for engineering and the other to construct the project. Both are 30-year loans coming from a state revolving fund that will be repaid with revenue bonds backed by wastewater user fees.
BISMARCK -- North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases jumped 3 percent in 2017, an increase that Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger called “modest.” But, the Republican said in a news release Wednesday, March 28, it’s a “good indicator” the state’s economy is “doing well and continuing to improve after the numerous decreases we’ve seen reflected in past reports.” Taxable sales and purchases totaled $17.9 billion in calendar year 2017, up from $17.3 billion in 2016.
BISMARCK—North Dakota State Auditor Josh Gallion will examine travel spending from Gov. Doug Burgum's office after the state's chief executive faced criticism for accepting Super Bowl tickets from Xcel Energy. Gallion informed Burgum in a March 22 letter that his office would conduct a performance audit focused on "travel related expenditures and use of state resources," according to a copy of the document provided by Burgum's office Tuesday, March 27. The audit will span from March 2016, during then-Gov. Jack Dalrymple's tenure, to the end of February.