It looks like North Dakota’s Secretary of State Al Jaeger won’t be the only Republican running as an Independent on the November ballot. The deadline for Independent candidates to file their signatures for November’s ballot access was Tuesday and petitioner extraordinaire Charles Tuttle turned in his 1,000 plus signatures to the Secretary of State’s office for review. If approved, Tuttle will join Republican Kelly Armstrong and Democrat Mac Schneider in the race for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Congressman Kevin Cramer— who is currently in a battle with incumbent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp for the U.S. Senate.
Most of North Dakota is probably unfamiliar with Tuttle. Yet, if you’ve signed petitions for things like abolishing property taxes, keeping the Fighting Sioux nickname, and shared parenting, chances are that you’ve ran into him. Those who attended April’s NDGOP State Convention probably heard Tuttle speak in his quest to secure the party’s endorsement— an endorsement that Kelly Armstrong ended up running away with.
Minot residents might recognize Tuttle from his run-in with the city for placing Trump signs on the boulevard in 2016— a practice prohibited by ordinance, but seemingly not enforced until Tuttle and his Trump signs came along. A similar situation played out in Grand Forks last month when Tuttle was cited for selling Trump merchandise and placing political advertising on the right of way. Interestingly enough, he came out unscathed in both cases.
As is too often the case in politics, past legal issues and allegations of abuse surfaced last month in regards to Tuttle. In one case, he was accused of sexual contact with a child, but the claims were never substantiated and Tuttle was never criminally charged. The accusations became part of Tuttle’s custody battle following his divorce. It’s a situation he described to the Grand Forks Herald as “hurtful” and “ugly”. Though it seems that he has no problem explaining it as he recognizes it’s part of the process and goes with the territory of running for office. Ultimately, voters will have to decide if the past allegations are problematic for them or not.
On the political side of things, Tuttle is an unabashed Trump supporter who says he’s absolutely committed to supporting the president and draining the swamp— a phrase actually featured on his Facebook page, Tuttle Rebuttal.
With just 60 days to the general election, it remains to be seen if Tuttle can compete with Armstrong and Schneider in campaign funds and political advertising. Yet, perhaps the bigger question is how Tuttle’s candidacy might impact the results of the election if the race is close?
If you’re interested, you can view Tuttle’s speech to the 2018 NDGOP State Convention below and get a feel for where he stands on some of the issues:
Best NDGOP speech 2018 Tuttle's run for the US House
Posted by Tuttle Rebuttal on Sunday, April 29, 2018