North Dakota candidates for governor mixed on Marcy's Law
BISMARCK - North Dakota's candidates for governor had mixed responses this week when asked for their feelings about Marsy's Law, a constitutional amendment that could be headed for the Nov. 8 ballot after sponsors turned in more than 44,000 signa...
BISMARCK – North Dakota’s candidates for governor had mixed responses this week when asked for their feelings about Marsy’s Law , a constitutional amendment that could be headed for the Nov. 8 ballot after sponsors turned in more than 44,000 signatures, or about 17,350 more than what’s required.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, the Republican Party’s endorsed candidate, said in a statement that as attorney general, he will be involved in reviewing and developing the final ballot language and potentially reviewing signatures to determine if the measure qualifies for the ballot.
“As a result, it is inappropriate for me to comment at this time,” he said.
Republican businessman Doug Burgum of Fargo said he will review it in depth before November.
“Marsy’s Law is more complex than it appears on the surface, and it is good that North Dakota voters have six months to study and analyze its ramifications and seek understanding of the balance of victims’ rights versus the rights of the accused,” Burgum said via email.
Paul Sorum of Bismarck, the other GOP candidate vying for the party’s nomination in the June 14 primary, said he supports Marsy’s Law, saying it “will help protect the rights of innocent victims and their families.”
The Democratic candidate, state Rep. Marvin Nelson of Rolla, said he hadn’t read the measure carefully enough to take a position, but added, “In general, I don’t like these things that seem to be coming from out of state.”
The measure’s lone contributor in North Dakota and several other states – including Montana and South Dakota, where it’s already on the November ballot – is California tech billionaire Henry Nicholas, whose sister, Marsy Nicholas, was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. He’s contributed more than $1 million to the North Dakota effort. Voter-approved versions of the law are already in place in California and Illinois.
Libertarian Party candidate Marty Riske of Fargo said via email that Marsy’s Law “has led to some unhappy results that will be difficult for the people of California to change,” but added the initiative “is bringing choice to North Dakota voters.”