North Dakota Gov. Burgum plans his race for the GOP presidential nomination
Two-term North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, a former computer software entrepreneur, is expected to run for the Republican presidential nomination, a political aide familiar with the plans told The Associated Press on Friday, putting him in a already crowded field dominated by ex-President Donald Trump.
The aide said Burgum plans to kick off his campaign with a June 7 event in Fargo, North Dakota’s largest city. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity as the event had not yet been made public.
Burgum, 66, is moving into a field that includes fellow Republican Gov. 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 yet to announce a candidacy.
The eventual GOP nominee is set to face Democratic President Joe Biden in November 2024.
As Burgum joined other Republican governors in signing legislation reversing transgender rights, he is expected to emphasize his business background, small-town roots and a significant tax cut from state this year. Burgum, first elected in 2016, was reelected in 2020 and is eligible for governor again in 2024.
In Iowa, where the caucuses are set to be the nation’s first GOP contest, Republican Bruce Rastetter, a wealthy agriculture and energy businessman who met Burgum three years ago, described the governor of North Dakota 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 coming across as “a regular guy.”
“He’s remained a regular guy, but really understands agriculture, energy and foreign policy issues,” said Rastetter, who is helping Burgum run in Iowa but is so far neutral in the Iowa caucus developing campaign in 2024.
Burgum’s 1983-established company, Great Plains Software, was acquired by Microsoft in 2011, and Burgum remained Microsoft’s vice president until 2007. He also founded real estate development and venture capital firms.
He grew up in Arthur, a town in eastern North Dakota of about 300 people, 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 revival is going to die,” culture warfare issues have dominated legislation this year in North Dakota and other states. controlled by Republicans.
The measures Burgum signed this year prohibit public schools and government entities from requiring teachers and employees to refer to transgender people by the pronouns they use; preventing 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 the access of transgender children and adults to toilets, changing rooms and showers of their choice, from schools to public colleges and correctional facilities.
North Dakota also has one of the toughest anti-abortion laws in the country after Burgum last month signed a ban on abortion throughout pregnancy with slim exceptions up to six weeks gestation. .
Hanna reported from Topeka, Kansas, and Beaumont, from Des Moines, Iowa.
Follow John Hanna on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/apjdhanna
startribune Gt Itly