North Dakota Governor Burgum ran for the GOP presidential nomination – KGET 17

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

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

Burgum, 66, jumps into a field that includes fellow Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who some Republicans see 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 possible presidential candidate, but has yet to announce a bid.

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

While Burgum has joined other Republican governors in signing legislation rolling back transgender rights, he is expected to highlight his business background, small-town roots and big state tax cuts this year. Burgum, who was first elected in 2016, was up for re-election in 2020 and is eligible to run for governor again in 2024.

In Iowa, where the caucuses are expected to be the state’s first GOP contest, 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 “really smart.” ” But Rastetter, who has been an influential donor and adviser to presidential campaigns in Iowa, said Burgum’s strength also comes from presenting himself as a “regular guy.”

“He’s remained a regular guy, but he really understands ag, energy and foreign policy issues,” said Rastetter, who is helping Burgum run in Iowa but is currently neutral in the developing 2024 Iowa caucus campaign.

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

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

Burgum signed a bill this year that reduced state income taxes and enabled local property taxes, with savings estimated at $515 million. His office said the income tax cut was the largest in state history.

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

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

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


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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