District 42 selects Claire Cory to fill vacant House spot

UND student to fill in for Rep. Jake Blum, who resigned to move to the Twin Cities.

Claire Cory of Grand Forks.jpg
Claire Cory of Grand Forks has been selected to fill a vacant position in the state House of Representatives. (Submitted photo)

A UND student who has interned in the U.S. Senate has been chosen to fill a position left vacant with the resignation of a member of the state House of Representatives.

Claire Cory, a junior at UND and a 2017 graduate of Grand Forks Central High School, will serve out the remainder of the current term of Rep. Jake Blum, a Republican from Grand Forks who is moving to the Twin Cities for a job.

District 42 encompasses an area within Grand Forks between Gateway Drive on the north, DeMers Avenue on the south, 55th Street on the west and roughly 20th and 16th streets on the east. It includes the UND campus.

“When Representative Blum resigned, the opportunity to fill his interim spot sparked my interest,” Cory said. “I’ve always had a passion for public policy. All of my experiences have led me to this role and I am confident as to what I can offer to represent District 42.”

Blum announced his resignation on Friday, Oct. 4. Cory was selected by the District 42 Republican Party a week later.


Cory was an intern earlier this year for U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. Her professional profile on the social media site LinkedIn also notes she has been an election official in Grand Forks County as well as vice chairwoman of District 42’s Republican Party. In the profile, she describes herself as an “aspiring politician.” She also has been involved with the College Republicans at UND.

“Not only does she have experience in the field, but she is young,” said Sadie Hanson, District 42 Republican Party chairwoman. “Young people have fresh ideas. District 42 is mostly the campus, so it is representing a lot of students. It’s nice to see that there are people who care enough to take charge. And the fact that she is willing to do that – and she is going to be a student while she is doing it – is amazing to see. She is really eager.”

While Cory will fill Blum’s seat during the interim, she will not automatically serve in the next session of the Legislature. North Dakota’s biennial format means lawmakers won’t meet in full session again until 2021 – after the 2020 elections.

She will, however, be expected to serve on at least one committee in the interim.

Korrie Wenzel has been publisher of the Grand Forks Herald and Prairie Business Magazine since 2014.

Over time, he has been a board member of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp., Junior Achievement, the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation, United Way, Empire Arts Center, Cornerstones Career Learning Center and Crimestoppers.

As publisher, Wenzel oversees news, advertising and business operations at the Herald, as well as the newspaper's opinion content.

In the past, Wenzel was sports editor for 14 years at The Daily Republic of Mitchell, S.D., before becoming editor and, eventually, publisher.

Wenzel can be reached at 701-780-1103.
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