Thoughts on Burgum & Company Losing Election to be National Delegates

Governor Doug Burgum (R - ND) responds to questions during an interview on Prairie Public. (Photo via screenshot.)

Something took place at the recent NDGOP State Convention that may well be historic. Doug Burgum, John Hoeven, Kevin Cramer, and Kelly Armstrong all fell short on votes to become delegates to the Republican National Convention. When was the last time you heard of our sitting governor, U.S. Senators, and U.S. Congressman being sent as alternates to their party’s national convention? I’m guessing this has never happened before.

As a result of their not being elected as delegates, each of them fell into the category of alternates. While state party rules mandates that each of these officeholders receive automatic nominations, they are still required to stand for election. And that’s as it should be.

In addition to their automatic nominations, the NDGOP Committee on Permanent Organization had also recommended these individuals for election, but a majority of delegates — largely consisting of grassroots activists — wanted to send a different message. And it came through loud and clear— being an elected official doesn’t equate to entitlement. And so, they were left on the outside looking in.

At the district level, many — if not most — districts include provisions in their bylaws that give their legislators automatic delegate spots to the state convention. I think this is a mistake. Why shouldn’t state lawmakers stand for election too? Elected officials shouldn’t enjoy special privileges that others in their districts don’t.

Besides, a convention is a great opportunity for the party’s electorate to share exactly how they feel about these folks via ballot without removing them from office. It’s entirely appropriate — and refreshing — to see that state party rules allow for this when it comes to governor and our representation in Washington, DC. Districts across the state of North Dakota should mirror this when it comes to state legislators.

Burgum, Hoeven, Cramer, and Armstrong weren’t the only ones who got slighted. Former State Party Chair Perrie Schafer — who lost his bid for reelection by one vote last year — also didn’t make the cut.

Amongst it all, another message was sent when State Auditor Josh Gallion ended up being the leading vote getter– by a lot. It’s no secret that Gallion has been a target of North Dakota’s political establishment. Coming in second was former state lawmaker and current U.S. House candidate Rick Becker. This was an important win for him, which I previously explained here.

There’s other nuances to this issue, and more that could be said, suffice it to say that it was refreshing to see a delegate list filled with those who are more representative of the grassroots than North Dakota’s political elite. Maybe there’s hope for North Dakota’s Republican Party after all.



  1. Republican National Convention (
  2. Rick Becker Wins the NDGOP Convention – The Minuteman Blog
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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.