Thursday 8 June 2023

North Dakota Republican Governor Doug Burgum Launches Run For President

 North Dakota Republican Governor Doug Burgum announced Tuesday evening that he was launching a 2024 presidential campaign

Burgum, first elected governor of North Dakota in 2016, announced his campaign in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, stating that he would focus on the economy, national security, and energy production. He previously worked as an executive at Microsoft. 

“When Joe Biden released his video announcing his re-election campaign, it was shocking what was missing. He failed to articulate any economic vision for the country, he ignored the anxiety of families grappling with inflation, and he looked the other way as a recession looms,” Burgum, 66, wrote in his announcement. “We need a change in the White House. We need a new leader for a changing economy. That’s why I’m announcing my run for president today.”

The governor, who grew up in Arthur, North Dakota, has also addressed culture war issues during his time as governor, signing a ban on transgender surgeries for minors and a pro-life bill that effectively banned all abortions in the state. 

Earlier this year, Burgum vetoed a bill that would have mandated teachers only use a student’s “preferred pronouns” if the child’s parents and a school administrator had given prior approval. He also previously vetoed a bill prohibiting biological males from girls’ sports before signing such a ban into law in 2023. 

In his op-ed, Burgum highlighted his business experience, pointing to the company he helped to run, Great Plains Software. In 2001, he sold the company to Microsoft for over a billion dollars.  The governorship was his first elected position.

“When I ran for governor in 2016, we shook up the political establishment — then cut more than a billion dollars in spending, balanced the budget, unleashed energy production, and diversified the economy. This year we achieved pension reform, helped pass term limits, and enacted the biggest tax cut in state history,” he said.

Burgum, who once worked as a chimney sweep, joins a crowded field of Republican hopefuls, including former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

“It shouldn’t be a surprise that small-town values have guided me my entire life; small-town values are at the core of America,” Burgum said at a campaign event. “And frankly, big cities could use more ideas and more values from small towns right now.”

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