Happy Hour in the Heartland – Perry Miller (Episode 2)

Perry Miller

I joined Perry Miller for happy hour in Wahpeton, ND. We couldn’t find the right atmosphere to suit our needs, so we went to his basement bar, turned on some tunes, and talked about politics. I challenge you to find a better happy hour special than free beer at Miller’s “Red Dog Bar.”

Perry has been very successful electorally on the non-partisan ballot. He has served as County Commissioner, City Councilman, and on township boards. In all of those races he has even been the top vote winner. Yet when it comes to partisan ballots, Perry hasn’t gotten over the hump as a Democratic-NPL member. We discuss that in this week’s episode.




-Partisan Redistricting
-“Liberal” & “Conservative” Labels
-How traditional and social media has changed politics
-Finding the “right size” in government


Happy Hour in the Heartland is an original podcast brought to you by ND xPlains. The series will bring the real conversations had by average people in an open, honest, and judgment free environment. The conversations are unfiltered, unscripted, and at times may move you out of your comfort zone.

So why Happy Hour? As I’ve traveled across the state and met with people of all backgrounds a couple of things are clear, everyone has an opinion on politics, and they are open about it in a one-on-one conversation after a long day at work. Whether it is a welder, a farmer, a banker, or others involved in politics who I’ve visited with, the discussions have been real and thought provoking. At times we’d agree, and at times we’d disagree. Regardless, at the end of the conversation, we’d often part ways and wish the best for each other. I hope by elevating those candid conversations, we can begin to better understand our collective worldview here on the plains.

The series will capture a personal yet public journey across the state. It is no secret I’m a Democrat from a rural, red state who recently lost reelection. In the aftermath of the 2016 election, Democrats have been accused of losing touch with rural America. I don’t think that is true locally. I know North Dakota, and I know its people. Nationally, they are talking about us now, but only a few have begun to talk with us. So let’s bring the conversation to them.

Through Happy Hour in the Heartland, your voice on the plains will be elevated. We will join you for a round at our coffee shops, diners, and bars. If you are interested in politics, grab your favorite beverage, listen, engage, and enjoy. Cheers!

Tyler Axness
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