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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GRAND FORKS—Encouraged by the party's success elsewhere, North Dakota Democrats opened their state convention here Friday, March 16, with hopes of climbing out of the electoral cellar in this Republican-dominated state. And amid the festivities, attendees remembered the last Democrat to serve as North Dakota's governor, George A. "Bud" Sinner, whose funeral was held Friday morning in Fargo.
BISMARCK — The state of North Dakota has asked a federal judge to speed up his review in the ongoing battle over its voter identification laws as a statewide election draws closer. In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in North Dakota Friday, March 9, an attorney for the state noted that the primary election is just three months away. Moreover, absentee and mail-in ballots for that election can be submitted as early as April 27.
BISMARCK—When North Dakota Democrats gather this weekend in Grand Forks for their state convention, they'll find something that's been largely missing within the party recently: competition for a statewide seat.
BISMARCK—State rules governing North Dakota's new medical marijuana program will go into effect April 1 after a legislative committee reviewed the guidelines Monday, March 12. The Administrative Rules Committee meeting marks a significant step in the state Department of Health's efforts to implement the program about 16 months after voters approved a ballot measure legalizing marijuana for medical use. Citing flaws, legislators rewrote that law last year.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota committee plans to examine more than a dozen proposals later this month to alter the state’s ballot measure process. One proposed constitutional amendment would require initiated measures that have attracted enough signatures to be submitted to the Legislature for a vote. If lawmakers or the governor reject the measure, it would be placed on the next general election ballot, according to a draft of the resolution shared with Forum News Service.
BISMARCK—State officials are planning to spruce up the landscaping around the yet-to-be-completed North Dakota governor's residence—and a Fargo firm tied to Gov. Doug Burgum is helping out. But the state's facility management director said Monday, Feb. 26, the landscape architecture firm was involved with the residence project long before Burgum took office in 2016.
BISMARCK—North Dakota regulators approved more modest utility rate increases Tuesday, Feb. 27, due to federal tax cuts. Both Otter Tail Power Co. and Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. cited the corporate income tax cut congressional Republicans passed late last year in requesting smaller interim rate increases that will be in effect until the North Dakota Public Service Commission determines final rates.
BISMARCK — Susan Bala filed a lawsuit against the state of North Dakota last week alleging it wrongfully declined to renew a license for her off-track horse race wagering business more than a decade ago, marking another turn in her legal saga. The complaint against the state and its Racing Commission was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Friday, Feb. 16 and seeks a "judgment in an amount to be determined at trial." It estimated Racing Services Inc. lost $30.8 million in value and profits since the 2004 license denial.
BISMARCK—Former North Dakota Congressman Rick Berg won't run for his old seat, he said Friday, Feb. 23. Berg hadn't ruled out a House campaign in recent days, but the Republican said in a text message Friday he "will be supporting candidates rather than being one." He served one term in Congress before a narrow loss to Democrat Heidi Heitkamp in the 2012 U.S. Senate race. Rep. Kevin Cramer announced last week he would challenge Heitkamp, opening up his seat to Republican hopefuls.
BISMARCK—Kelly Armstrong made his run for the U.S. House official Thursday, Feb. 22, marking the second North Dakota Republican state lawmaker to seek Rep. Kevin Cramer's seat. Armstrong, a state senator, attorney and businessman from Dickinson, N.D., publicized his entrance into the race during a few appearances across the state Thursday after resigning as state party chairman this week. His announcement came just days after Cramer said he would run for the U.S. Senate in an effort to unseat Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp.