The end of year campaign finance reports for legislators and political organizations are being filed with the North Dakota Secretary of State. Searching through the numbers currently available, it appears the Democratic-NPL candidates from District 44 in North Fargo have a large advantage in the fundraising and cash-on-hand. Coupled with the shift in voting trends of the district over the past decade, it may be a bright spot for the minority party in the upcoming election.
Rep. Josh Boschee reported he raised $32,246 while Rep. Karla Rose Hanson reported she raised $12,391. According to a district official familiar with the finances, Senator Merrill Piepkorn raised approximately $4,000 and the district has approximately $10,500 cash-on-hand. Those reports have a few more days to be filed with the Secretary of State. If those numbers prove to be true, it means the District 44 Dem-NPL is sitting with $58,859. Not a bad way to start off an election year.
The district in North Fargo has shifted politically over the past decade. They entered 2010 with three Republican legislators and enter 2020 with three Democratic-NPL legislators. The shift began in 2012 when Josh Boschee was the top vote-earner with 26% of the vote, beating both Republicans. Four years later in 2016, the Dem-NPL swept the district and was one of the few districts that voted for Clinton in the entire state. Finally, in 2018, every Dem-NPL statewide candidate won District 44.
As for other reports currently available, there isn’t much more to dissect at the moment. Notably, Republican Senator Scott Meyer in District 18 had a good year-end report raising approximately $20,000. Also in District 18, Republican Rep Steve Vetter reports he raised approximately $6,000. The district Republican party has yet to file its report, but may be one to watch. District 18 also had a shift in its last election going from three Democratic legislators to two Republican legislators and one Democrat in 2016. A long term trend in Grand Forks or Donald Trump’s coat-tails? We will soon find out.
A Large cash-on-hand advantage and trends certainly appear to be in the Dem-NPL favor in District 44. With the thumping the state party has taken over the past two election cycles, it may be the shining light for Democrats in the entire state. Perhaps a road map for other districts to consider?