Kylie Oversen to Seek Dem-NPL Nomination for Tax Commissioner

Current Democratic-NPL Chairwoman and former Representative Kylie Oversen is set to seek her Party’s nomination for Tax Commissioner. The official announcement will come today at events scheduled in Bismarck and Grand Forks according to a press release. Should Oversen earn the nomination, it would set up an interesting race against current Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger.

In her statement, Oversen said she wants to focus on building relationships between the Tax Department and local governments. There has been a growing rift between the state and local governments since the state budget began to slide. I’ll be curious to see if this approach is welcomed by locally elected officials across the state.

There was a time last year people were uncertain whether or not Ryan Rauschenberger would seek reelection. The uncertainty followed Rauschenberger’s arrest for DUI. During an interview on my radio show, NDGOP Chair Kelly Armstrong said he anticipated all of the statewide elected officials would seek reelection in 2018. The only one he wasn’t positive about at the time was Rauschenberger. We know now he is in.

Following his arrest being made public, I revealed through an open record request that Pat Finken of Odney Advertising helped orchestrate Rauschenberger’s response. The Tax Commissioner before Rauschenberger was appointed, Corey Fong, stepped down to go and work for Odney Advertising. This machine will undoubtedly be behind Rauschenberger’s reelection bid. As history shows, they’re effective.

Oversen is currently an attorney in Grand Forks and has lawmaking experience. She will need to step down as Dem-NPL Chair. Originally from Killdeer, she has ties to western North Dakota, an area Democrats have struggled to gain support in recent years. Now residing in Grand Forks, she has built a reputation in the East. She’ll obviously need to pull it together and raise some serious cash to be successful in November.

Tyler Axness
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