On this episode of Plain Talk, Zach Raknerud pointed out that many North Dakota Democrats are afraid to do interviews with me.

"I don't think that's right," he said.

He's the candidate North Dakota Democrats endorsed to challenge Republican Congressman Kelly Armstrong this cycle. He made that point while arguing that he intends to offer North Dakotans a very distinct alternative to the incumbent.

A candidate who doesn't sound like past candidates. A candidate who doesn't campaign like previous candidates.

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Raknerud was critical of congressional Democrats for trying to insert issues like the minimum wage into coronavirus relief legislation. "We need to get relief to the American people now," he said, though he added that Republicans, for their part, are a bit too focused on what he described as "corporate bailouts."

But don't let his criticism of national Democrats, or his affinity for conservative commentators, fool you.

Raknerud is a progressive.

During the interview, he called for a universal basic income, a federal program paying for college tuition, and an expanded Social Security program that would provide things like maternity and sick leave.

We also discussed the challenges of planning a campaign in the middle of the coronavirus crisis.

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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at rport@forumcomm.com.