It is clear Governor Doug Burgum’s nightmare is not getting his way with the Legislature. He is trying everything to get at least one seat under his control. For many frontline workers, the nightmare is the uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus in North Dakota. For that, Burgum is acting as though there is little within his power to exercise. To be blunt, Burgum has done more to prevent the seating of a legislator than prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state. Why is he fighting so hard for this one legislative seat?
There is a nightmare on North 4th Street in Bismarck
Burgum finds himself walking into a committee room. The space is dimly lit. It is time to deliver his budget recommendations. Burgum goes through his plan to reinvent North Dakota, again. He starts strong, just as he had rehearsed. Yet, as his ted-talk PowerPoint presentation rambles on, he grows distracted. A constant clicking of a pen comes from the front of the room.
Annoyed, Burgum looks up to find the source of the clicking sound that grows louder. He sees a red pen crossing out large sections of his budget outline. Watching in horror, the paper becomes filled with red ink.
The room falls silent. One final click and the pen falls to the table. Burgum becomes nervous. A large, shadowy figure hovers over the red-covered page. It leans forward just enough for the PowerPoint light to shine on his face. It is Jeff Delzer.
How could it be? Burgum spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to vanquish Delzer back to Underwood. With a stoic look staring into Burgum’s eyes, Delzer speaks. “Forget about it.” Delzer drops Burgum’s budget into the trash. The binder’s descent feels like a lifetime for Burgum. The loud thud of his wishes hitting the bottom of the bin jolts Burgum awake. He’s in a cold sweat at the Governor’s Mansion on North 4th Street in Bismarck.
At first, Burgum spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to unseat a sitting legislator in his own party. The legislator was Jeff Delzer. Following the tragic death of his chosen candidate from covid19, Burgum rushed to declare a replacement by appointment. That questionable declaration was before the results of the 2020 election were even certified. Now, he is asking the North Dakota Supreme Court to settle the dispute between his actions and the Attorney General, Secretary of State, Legislature, and District 8 Republicans whom he didn’t even consult before making his questionable pick. Why is he fighting so hard for this one legislative seat? Fear he won’t get his way. What if he had the same drive to slow the spread of coronavirus in North Dakota?