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Port: Democratic-NPL candidate for attorney general a 'top fan' of Facebook bikini model

"Jazz Lady, when are you coming to the US?" Timothy Lamb, the Democratic-NPL candidate for attorney general, asked in a comment under photos featuring a scantily clad model from the Philippines. He signed it "Tim the Starman" and appended several stars and a smirking emoji.

wrigley.jpg
Timothy Lamb, center, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, speaks at a forum hosted by the North Dakota Newspaper Association in Bismarck on Thursday, May 5, 2022. On the right is current Attorney General Drew Wrigley, a Republican.
Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service
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MINOT, N.D. — Since he was appointed earlier this year to replace Wayne Stenehjem, who passed away, Attorney General Drew Wrigley has been a busy man.

His office is handling the investigation of officer-involved shootings. He's been tasked with certifying North Dakota's abortion ban which was triggered by the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. He's been dealing with controversy stemming from a major budget overrun in a construction project initiated by his predecessor that, in turn, has turned into a scandal over deleted email accounts .

Amid all that, Wrigley also has to run for election to a full term of his own in that office, something he was in the process of doing before Stenehjem died.

Meanwhile, what has his Democratic opponent, Timothy Lamb, a Grand Forks-based attorney, been doing?

Chatting up a bikini model on Facebook.

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In a July 27, 2022, comment posted at 11:46 p.m. under some cheesecake photos, Lamb expressed interest in meeting up with an internet model who uses the handles "JazielRex" and "YouJazz."

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"Jazz Lady, when are you coming to the US?" Lamb, who is married, and who served for 15 years on the school board in Grand Forks, asked in the comment, signing it "Tim the Starman" and appending several stars and a smirking emoji.

A reader tipped me off about the comments, wondering if they were appropriate coming from someone seeking one of North Dakota's most powerful elected offices.

Lamb has been commenting on this particular profile for some time, apparently. "Jazz Lady, good to see you. Nice! I like your program and learning your language," he wrote under a Feb. 17, 2021, post of another revealing photo of the model.

Lamb's comments are tagged by Facebook as coming from a "top fan," which, per a description provided by the social media company, is a badge that "helps people stand out from the crowd when they comment" and is earned "by actively engaging with" a page owner.

Timothy C. Lamb facebook comment
A screenshot of a Facebook comment left on the profile for an internet model by Democratic-NPL candidate for attorney general Timothy Lamb.
Reader provided photo

The images Lamb commented on include advertising for a gambling site called S5, which is based in the Philippines . The picture post itself included a message written in Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines.

Lamb, responding to a request for comment, was something less than forthcoming when contacted about the comments. "I have a son in Thailand and he's married to a Thai woman there. I don't know if there's a connection there or what," he said. When I described the comment to him, and asked if he knew the model, he said, "I guess I'm not sure where you're going with this."

At that point he suggested that any content on Facebook was "pretty benign" before claiming that he had a client he needed to meet with and hanging up on me.

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I should note that I was speaking to Lamb after he called me. It's not clear if he called me while the client was waiting for him, or if he was making up an excuse to get off the phone.

Immediately after he hung up on me, Lamb sent me an email. "Facebook can be manipulated, so if you're into fake journalism, please don't bother me," he wrote.

I replied to Lamb with a screenshot of the comment, asking if he was denying authorship, but he didn't immediately respond.

This isn't the first issue a candidate for statewide office in North Dakota has had with his social media history this cycle.

Michael Steele, a candidate for the Democratic-NPL's nomination for U.S. Senate, was running, during his campaign, a Twitter feed that included both campaign communications and likes of "images of nude and scantily dressed women," David Olson reported March .

Steele, unlike Lamb, was a fringe candidate. He didn't seek the party's endorsement at their state convention (Lamb did and received it) though he did receive more than 23% of the vote in the June primary , ultimately losing to Katrina Christiansen, a first-time candidate and professor at the University of Jamestown.

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at rport@forumcomm.com. Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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