ND Gov to Announce Presidential Run 05/27 08:03
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is expected to announce his candidacy for the
2024 Republican presidential nomination, two GOP operatives told The Associated
Press on Friday, putting him in an already crowded field dominated by
ex-President Donald Trump.
(AP) -- North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is expected to announce his candidacy
for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, two GOP operatives told The
Associated Press on Friday, putting him in an already crowded field dominated
by ex-President Donald Trump.
The Republicans, who had knowledge of Burgum's plans, said he is expected to
announce his candidacy on June 7 at a midday event in Fargo, Burgum's home
town. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the event had not been
The 66-year-old Burgum, a former computer software entrepreneur, would be
jumping 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 U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim
Scott, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and biotech entrepreneur Vivek
Ramaswamy. Former Vice President Mike Pence is also considered a likely
presidential candidate but has not yet announced a bid.
The eventual GOP nominee is expected to face Democratic President Joe Biden
in November 2024.
While Burgum has joined other Republican governors in signing legislation
rolling back transgender rights, he's expected to emphasize his business
background, small-town roots and a large state tax cut this year. Burgum, first
elected in 2016, was reelected in 2020 and is eligible to run for governor
again in 2024.
In Iowa, where caucuses are expected to be the first-in-the-nation GOP
contest, Republican Bruce Rastetter, a wealthy agricultural and energy
businessman who met Burgum three years ago, described the North Dakota governor
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 presenting as "a regular guy."
"He's stayed a regular guy, but really understands issues on ag, energy and
foreign policy," said Rastetter, who is helping Burgum make introductions in
Iowa, but is so far neutral in the developing 2024 Iowa caucus campaign.
Trump's campaign called Burgum's expected announcement "an indictment of
DeSantis' disastrous announcement and his dismal poll numbers." The audio
stream crashed repeatedly on Wednesday night during DeSantis' formal campaign
launch, an online conversation with Twitter CEO Elon Musk.
"There's blood in the water, and every candidates sees how weak he is," the
Trump campaign said in a statement texted to The AP.
DeSantis' campaign did not respond immediately to an email seeking comment
about Burgum, but his campaign said it had raised $8.2 million in the first 24
hourts after the announcement.
The company Burgum started in 1983, Great Plains Software, was acquired by
Microsoft in 2011, and Burgum stayed on as a Microsoft vice president until
2007. He also founded real estate development and venture capital firms.
He grew up in Arthur, an eastern North Dakota town of about 300 people, 25
miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Fargo.
Burgum this year signed legislation that reduced state income taxes and
provided local property tax relief, with the savings estimated at $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 "woke goes to die," culture war issues
dominated legislating this year in North Dakota and other states controlled by
The measures signed this year by Burgum prohibit public schools and
government entities from requiring teachers and employees to refer to
transgender people by the pronouns they use; bar transgender girls and women
from joining female sports teams, from K-12 through college; and criminalize
health care providers who give gender-affirming care to minors. A new law also
limits transgender children and adults in accessing the bathrooms, locker rooms
and showers of their choice, from schools to state-run colleges and
North Dakota also has one of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the nation
after Burgum last month signed a ban on abortion throughout pregnancy with slim
exceptions up to six weeks' gestation.