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Democrat Boschee's fundraising haul outpaces Republican Gardner in open race for ND secretary of state

Rep. Josh Boschee, D-Fargo, announces his candidacy for North Dakota Secretary of State, during a press conference Jan. 30 at Abovo Events in Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum News Service1 / 2
Will Gardner, with his wife, Laura, accepts the party's endorsement for Secretary of State at April's convention at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. Eric Hylden / Forum News Service2 / 2

BISMARCK — The open race for North Dakota secretary of state got off to a spendy start, with the Democratic candidate raising more than $79,000 in the first phase of the campaign.

Fargo Democratic state Rep. Joshua Boschee has raised $79,207, well ahead of the $12,625 reported by his Republican opponent, Mandan businessman Will Gardner, according to filings posted online by the Secretary of State's office. Boschee's pre-primary report, filed Friday, May 11, showed he had a nearly $60,000 ending balance, while Gardner had more than $5,800.

Boschee's report included a nearly $6,800 in-kind contribution from himself and $10,000 from his parents. He also received $2,500 from U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's campaign and another $2,500 from a local plumbers and pipefitters union.

Boschee's campaign said he had more than 600 "unique donors," with most being North Dakotans.

"Both individuals and industry groups are going to be looking for a fresh perspective in the office," he said Wednesday.

Gardner said he had been focused on April's GOP state convention, where he won the party endorsement over longtime Republican Secretary of State Al Jaeger. He was optimistic he would "raise an enormous amount of money" as the campaign wears on.

"We spent a lot of time in the last few weeks on the ground game," Gardner said.

North Dakota candidates' campaign finance filings can be searched here.

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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