Text of Gov. Dalrymple's announcement speech"I believe there is no limit to what we can accomplish in North Dakota," Gov. Jack Dalrymple said in his speech at several locations today. "That’s why I am here today to announce I am running for governor."
By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald
Here is the text of Gov. Jack Dalrymple's announcement today that he will seek election to a full term as North Dakota's governor:
Good morning! Thank you for being here today.
Thank you all for your friendship and support. It is a privilege and an honor to serve as your governor.
Before we get started, I want to introduce my soul mate and the best thing that has ever happened to me, the First Lady, my wonderful wife, Betsy.
Betsy and I started out in public service with a successful campaign for a State House seat in 1984. We dragged our daughters to parades. They drove a toy car with our sign on the side. It was a big hit in Leonard.
I also want to introduce someone who is key to our ongoing efforts to build a better future for North Dakota. He’s a man of honor and integrity and he’s working hard as my full partner in the Governor’s Office.
Please welcome Lieutenant Governor Drew Wrigley.
Ladies and gentlemen, when I look at what is going on around our country, how other states continue to struggle with job losses and budget deficits, I am extremely proud of what we are accomplishing here in North Dakota.
We are making tremendous progress. Working together, we have created thousands of good jobs, reduced property and income taxes and built up our reserves.
Today, there are more new opportunities than ever before – opportunities for great jobs for our citizens; opportunities for a great education, and opportunities for an even greater quality of life.
Our policies to create new jobs are working and the results are clear throughout North Dakota: Companies like Phoenix International, Caterpillar and Amazon.com are breaking new ground and adding employees.
We have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. We have more than 17,000 available jobs across our many business sectors; even in manufacturing where most of the country has reported a loss of jobs.
Our personal income is growing at a rate that is more than double the national average. (2000-2010 – ND, 67.1%; U.S., 31.8%)
Our progress can be seen from one corner of North Dakota to another.
North Dakota’s economy is strong and growing, but in the next stage of our growth there will be new challenges.
With the right leadership we will meet these challenges and do much more. I believe there is no limit to what we can accomplish in North Dakota.
That’s why I am here today to announce I am running for governor.
I have asked Drew Wrigley to be my running mate and he has accepted. We ask all of you to join with us in building an even better, stronger North Dakota.
Meeting our challenges and building on our growth will require leadership with broad experience in both government and the private sector. As a farmer, I know how to manage both the risk and reward of planting for the season yet to come. Having served as founding chairman of Dakota Growers Pasta Company, I’ve built entrepreneurial partnerships that have capitalized on unique opportunity. I have seen how government policy and regulation can either support or stifle opportunities.
Government needs to let the private sector be successful instead of getting in its way. That’s the experience I bring to work with me every day at the state Capitol. Our policies will always include creating more opportunities. That includes low taxes, consistent and sensible oversight and the most responsive state government anywhere.
We have practiced sound fiscal management over the last 10 years and it is a factor in our success today. My experience on the Appropriations Committee and in the Governor’s Office will be invaluable in managing the state budget. As your governor, I will fight to limit our recurring state expenditures.
By managing our budget carefully over the years, we were able to provide $500 million in tax relief in the current budget, and I look forward to making additional tax relief a priority for the hard-working people of North Dakota.
Meanwhile, our large cash reserves give us the opportunity to catch up on much needed infrastructure investments in roads, streets, bridges, buildings, and water projects. As your governor, I will continue to make the state’s critical infrastructure needs a priority because that is vital to our continued economic growth and our quality of life.
The phenomenal growth in the energy industry has created many job opportunities, but it is our responsibility to keep pace with that growth.
In North Dakota’s oil and gas producing counties we’ve invested nearly $1 billion for roads, highways and other improvements. That investment includes $100 million in impact grants for residential development. And, public safety must remain foremost in our minds. That’s why I’ve directed the Highway Patrol to send nine more officers to Western North Dakota. And, I will ask the legislature to support additional officers. All of these commitments are vital to our growth and quality of life in the West, and I will continue to address these pressing needs.
In other parts of our great state, the emphasis is on infrastructure that deals with flooding and the need for water control. This year, the people of North Dakota and our outstanding National Guard showed the nation and the world the full measure of their character when floodwaters rose to astounding heights in several of our communities. In the worst of times, we banded together and we helped one another. This summer, Betsy and I dug wet trash out of homes where floodwaters had reached the top of the doorframes. It was hard work, but it was heart-warming to see hundreds of volunteers helping their fellow North Dakotans.
As your governor, I will work with legislators to pass a flood recovery package that will help homeowners pick up the pieces and rebuild.
Across the state, I will work for permanent flood protection that will finally give people the peace of mind they deserve.
Whether we are building levees, water outlets, floodways, diversions, or raising roads, I stand beside our communities, to find solutions to these persistent problems.
Being governor means being a strong partner. But, at times, it also means being a defender. North Dakota’s air is among the cleanest in the nation and we have a plan to improve it even further. But, the EPA wants to take away our right to manage our own air quality program. They would drive up the cost of electricity without any added improvements in air quality. I will not stand for senseless rulings from bureaucracies like the EPA.
I’ve also been an outspoken critic of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ and their management of the Missouri River. The Corp’s plan to charge North Dakotans a fee for water that is rightfully ours is an outrage. Furthermore their management of the 2011 flood shows that states need more say in the operating plans of the river.
As your governor, I will continue the fight against these ill-conceived plans until our rights as a state are acknowledged and respected.
Finally, I will never forget our ultimate objective is a better quality of life for all North Dakotans.
In our work to create jobs and manage our state budget carefully, we have acquired the resources to address the diverse needs of our people.
We can and must meet the needs of our veterans to whom we owe our deepest gratitude. We will address the needs of our senior citizens who built this state.
And, we must look out for the needs of our less-fortunate citizens – not by providing a handout, but a helping hand so they can get the assistance they need to get back on their feet.
We also know education is the key to our future. Well-managed schools and colleges will always make our state a better and better place to live.
North Dakota is the envy of the nation and I believe we can stay that way. Yes, we have challenges before us, but they will not define us. Together, we can rise to the task.
Betsy and I were married in December of 1971. We were both college graduates and my new bride and I had decided we were going to make our life on the farm in North Dakota. To be honest with you, it didn’t go so well at first. There was a blizzard the night we arrived, we got stuck in a snowdrift and spent our first night at the Shamrock Motel - $3 a night. As you can imagine, in 40 years of marriage there were plenty of other challenges. But we North Dakotans have never been discouraged by a setback here or there.
The challenges that face our state are not insignificant, but with the right leadership we will meet them all. What it really comes down to is this: Governors are elected to lead. It’s not enough to simply see our potential. A governor must lead the state to achieve it. I ask you to join me in making North Dakota everything it can be.
Thank you and God bless North Dakota.