Aide: North Dakota Governor Burgum Running for GOP Presidential Nomination

Two-term Governor of North Dakota

Two-term North Dakota governor Doug Burgum, a former computer software entrepreneur, is running for the Republican presidential nomination, a political adviser familiar with the plans told The Associated Press on Friday, putting him in a field already crowded dominated by former President Donald Trump,

The aide said Burgum plans to launch his campaign with an event June 7 in Fargo, North Dakota’s largest city. The attendee spoke on condition of anonymity because the event had not yet been publicized.

Burgum, 66, is wading into a field that includes fellow Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, seen by some Republicans as the stronger alternative to Trump. Other candidates include former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. Former Vice President Mike Pence is also considered a likely presidential candidate, but has yet to announce a run.

The eventual Republican nominee is expected to face Democratic President Joe Biden in November 2024.

While Burgum joined other Republican governors in signing legislation rolling back transgender rights, he is expected to emphasize his business background, small-town roots and a big state tax cut this year. Burgum, first elected in 2016, was reelected in 2020 and is eligible to run for governor again in 2024.

In Iowa, where the caucuses are expected to be the first Republican races in the nation, Republican Bruce Rastetter, a wealthy energy and agricultural businessman who met Burgum three years ago, described the North Dakota governor as “a successful guy ” and “very smart.” But Rastetter, who has been an influential donor and presidential campaign adviser in Iowa, said Burgum’s strength also comes from presenting himself as “a normal guy.”

“He’s stayed like a normal guy, but he really understands the issues of agriculture, energy and foreign policy,” said Rastetter, who is helping Burgum make presentations in Iowa but is so far neutral on the ongoing campaign of the Iowa caucus. Iowa of 2024.

Burgum’s company started in 1983, Great Plains Software, was acquired by Microsoft in 2011, and Burgum remained a Microsoft vice president until 2007. He also founded real estate development and venture capital firms.

He grew up in Arthur, an eastern North Dakota town of about 300 people, 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Fargo.

Burgum signed legislation this year that reduced state income taxes and provided local property tax relief, with estimated savings of $515 million. His office touted the income tax cut as the largest in state history.

But with DeSantis building a national profile for anti-LGBTQ+ measures and describing his state of Florida as where “the awakening goes to die,” culture war issues dominated legislation this year in North Dakota and other state-controlled states. republicans.

Measures signed this year by Burgum prohibit public schools and government entities from requiring teachers and employees to refer to transgender people by the pronouns they use; ban transgender girls and women from joining women’s sports teams, from K-12 through college; and criminalize health care providers who provide gender-affirming care to minors. A new law also limits transgender children and adults’ access to the bathrooms, locker rooms and showers of their choice, from schools to state universities and correctional facilities.

North Dakota also has one of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the country after Burgum last month signed a ban on abortion during pregnancy with few exceptions up to six weeks gestation.


Hanna reported from Topeka, Kansas, and Beaumont, from Des Moines, Iowa.


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John Hanna and Thomas Beaumont, Associated Press