HomePoliticsNorth Dakota Governor Burgum running for the GOP presidential nomination

North Dakota Governor Burgum running for the GOP presidential nomination

Gov. Doug Burgum, a former computer software entrepreneur serving two terms in North Dakota, is running for the Republican presidential nomination. Donald Trump,

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

Burgum, 66, jumps into a field that includes fellow Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, seen by some Republicans as the strongest 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 not yet announced a bid.

The final GOP nominee is expected to run against Democratic President Joe Biden in November 2024.

While Burgum has joined other Republican governors in signing legislation to roll back transgender rights, he is expected to emphasize his business background, his small-town roots and a major state tax cut this year. First elected in 2016, Burgum was re-elected in 2020 and will again be eligible to run for governor in 2024.

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In Iowa, where caucuses are expected to be the first GOP contest in the country, Republican Bruce Rastetter, a wealthy agricultural and energy 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 consultant to Iowa presidential campaigns, said Burgum’s strength also comes from presenting as “an ordinary man.”

“He’s remained a regular guy but really understands agriculture, energy and foreign policy issues,” said Rastetter, who helps introduce Burgum to Iowa but has so far been neutral in Iowa’s evolving caucus campaign in 2024.

The company Burgum founded in 1983, Great Plains Software, was acquired by Microsoft in 2011, and Burgum remained on as Microsoft vice president until 2007. He also founded real estate development and venture capital companies.

He grew up in Arthur, a town in eastern North Dakota with a population of about 300, 25 miles northwest of Fargo.

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Burgum signed legislation this year that lowered state income taxes and eased local property taxes, saving an estimated $515 million. His office hailed 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 “wake up to die,” culture war issues dominated legislation in North Dakota and other Republican-controlled states this year.

The measures signed by Burgum this year prohibit public schools and government agencies from requiring teachers and employees to refer to transgender people by the pronouns they use; stop transgender girls and women from joining female sports teams, from K-12 to college; and criminalize caregivers who provide gender-affirming care to minors. A new law also restricts transgender children and adults from accessing the bathrooms, locker rooms and showers of their choice, from schools to state schools and correctional facilities.

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

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


Follow John Hanna on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/apjdhanna

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