Is District 3 Tired of Liberals Running as Republicans?

Left to Right: Jeff Hoverson (House), Oley Larsen (Senate), and Bob Paulson (House) are the endorsed candidates for District 3 Republicans. (Photo via Facebook)

It was with great interest that I read a Letter to the Editor in yesterday’s Minot Daily News. Minot resident Greg Demme let loose in a letter titled, “Tired of Liberals Running as Republicans“. While it’s specific to District 3, his point is one that can be attributed to many districts across the state of North Dakota.

In fact, we’ve mentioned this issue multiple times here on The Minuteman. The articles “You Might NOT be a Republican if…” and “NDGOP Identity Crisis: Are the Wrong Republicans Being Criticized?” both come to mind.

Demme’s letter came in response to an editorial done by the Minot Daily News titled, “Competition May Liven Up Primary“. In it the Minot Daily expressed their viewpoint that incumbent Rep. Andrew Maragos’ decision to run in the primary – together with Ward County Commissioner Alan Walter – was “good” for making the House races “competitive”.

You see, the sometimes controversial Rep. Roscoe Streyle stepped down after two terms and neither Rep. Maragos or Walter received the District 3 Republican endorsement on March 27th. Those endorsements went to Jeff Hoverson and Bob Paulson. And Demme took issue with the idea of Maragos and Walter being “healthy competition”:

“The situation is exactly the opposite. Because the Republicans of District 3 are tired of uncontested elections, tired of liberals running as Republicans, and tired of candidates who refuse to even articulate any platform at all (much less a specifically conservative platform), District 3 Republicans overwhelmingly endorsed the grassroots candidates Jeff Hoverson and Bob Paulson to provide competition and provide District 3 Republicans with two clearly conservative candidates.”

Demme is right. According to their Facebook page, Hoverson and Paulson ran away with 67% of the vote, when about 80 Republicans showed up for their district convention. That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement from the party faithful of either Maragos or Walter, but it’s especially an indictment on the incumbent Maragos— who, as Demme points out, isn’t a conservative.

In the 2017 Ratings of North Dakota by the American Conservative Union Foundation, Rep. Maragos scored an embarrassing 43%— a point less than his 44% in the previous Legislative Session. His performance in the 2017 session was nothing short of awful. You can take a look at the report yourself, but just to give you a sample; he voted to keep Common Core, rejected allowing Dental Therapy, agreed to Government Funding of the Arts, opposed Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform, and voted against Food Freedom. In addition, he received a D-rating from the North Dakota Watchdog’s Legislative Scorecard.

The Minot Daily News describes the backgrounds of Hoverson and Paulson as follows:

“Hoverson has 25 years of ministry experience and is currently a pastor at Living Word church in north Minot. Formerly a public school teacher, he also is a businessman operating a “LoVE Ice Cream” food truck business with his family.

“Paulson retired as commander after a 24-year career with the Navy. He moved in 2009 to Minot, where he currently is president of the Lighthouse Church board, board president for Dakota Hope Clinic, treasurer for Minot Camp of the Gideons International and participates in the New Life Fellowship ministry to inmates at the Ward County Jail.”

On the issues, Demme describes Hoverson and Paulson as fellow conservatives with the incumbent Senator from District 3, Oley Larsen. There’s no question that Larsen is the leading conservative in the not-so-conservative State Senate. He scored an 83% last Legislative Session— the highest score in his chamber.

If the North Dakota Legislature is to have what Greg Demme describes as “pro-liberty candidates who support limiting governmental overreach into the lives of citizens”, then District 3 Republicans must do their part to elect the conservative alternatives of Jeff Hoverson and Bob Paulson. Then – and only then – will we know exactly how tired they are of liberals running as Republicans.



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About T. Arthur Mason 883 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.