Port: Dickinson mayor decides not to run for statewide office

Scott Decker had told me he was considering a campaign when I contacted him in late January, but when I spoke with him today he said he'd decided against a run.

Mayor Scott Decker, at a previous Dickinson City Commission, addresses commission members. (Jackie Jahfetson/The Dickinson Press)
Mayor Scott Decker addresses commission members at a Dickinson City Commission meeting.
Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press
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MINOT, N.D. — Scott Decker, the mayor of Dickinson, has decided against a campaign to replace retiring Secretary of State Al Jaeger.

Decker had told me he was considering a campaign when I contacted him in late January , but when I spoke with him today he said he'd decided against a run.

The North Dakota Republican Party no longer has any obligation to pretend as though Rick Becker is a member in good standing, whatever Becker himself might have to say about it.

Decker has been mayor since 2016, and before that he was elected to the Dickinson City Commission in 2014. He's a graduate of Dickinson State University and a 21-year Army veteran.

That leaves Rep. Michael Howe, a Republican from Casselton, as the only candidate in that race from any political party.

Howe announced his campaign on Jan. 18 , and had spoken about his desire to run for the office before that on an episode of my Plain Talk podcast .


The lack of candidates for this office is surprising. Jaeger has held it since the early 1990s, but has faced several challenges in past election cycles. He was even defeated for the NDGOP endorsement for the office in 2018, though he ended up being re-elected as an independent after Will Gardner, who won the endorsement, dropped out amid scandal.

One would think Jaeger's decision to retire, coupled with a sprawling national debate over election integrity, would have drawn more interest to this race, but so far it hasn't.

The NDGOP will hold its endorsing convention in late March, and voters will choose the candidates to represent the political parties on the primary ballot in mid-June.

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 Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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