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End the duopoly

Mike Jacobs: Yikes! North Dakota politics grow stranger still!

Mike Jacobs is a Grand Forks Herald columnist. Suddenly, North Dakota’s political landscape has changed in weird and unexpected ways. English has a word for this, transmogrify, which Dictionary.com defines as “to change in appearance or form, especially strangely or grotesquely.” Merriam-Webster offers this definition, also online: “to change or alter greatly and often with grotesque or humorous effect.”

For the moment we can be sure the changes are strange, and they do not arise from one source only. Whether their effect will be humorous? That we’ll have to wait to see.

The latest development comes from Donald Trump, the nation’s disrupter in chief. On Sunday he unexpectedly tweeted an endorsement in the North Dakota treasurer’s race. This likely reflects the influence of Sen. Kevin Cramer, also a disrupter, and it appears to be aimed at Gov. Doug Burgum, still another disrupter. Burgum and Cramer bypassed the usual nomination process, Cramer for the U.S. House in 2012, and Burgum for governor in 2016. Each has picked a different candidate in the treasurer’s race, a minor office that’s faced extinction in the Legislature and on the ballot. In 2016, the Democratic candidate ran on a platform to eliminate the office, and one […]

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