Although this will be his first session in public office, District 43 Rep. Matt Eidson said he often cited his experience in public service as a Marine Corps veteran on the campaign trail.

"When it came to running for office I thought it would serve me well," said Eidson, D-Grand Forks.

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In the 66th Assembly, Eidson vows to watch out for vets like himself and UND, where he was an undergraduate and plans to pursue his master's in English.

Eidson said he ran because of the toll he noticed budget cuts were having on higher education.

"I watched as all of these humanities programs got attacked," Eidson said, naming programs in musical therapy and history as examples.

"What I can do is make sure the university gets the appropriate amount of funds for all areas," he said.

House leaders have assigned Eidson to serve on the Finance and Tax Committee and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

"I wanted to get out there and explore new things," Eidson said. "I can be effective for veterans without being in GVA (Governmental and Veteran Affairs)."

While campaigning, Eidson said he supported District 18 Rep. Steve Vetter's bill to eliminate income taxes on veteran benefits.

He has also discussed an incentive program for North Dakota universities that will cover flying hour costs with the G.I. Bill to encourage veterans to stay and work in North Dakota aviation.