Doug Burgum believes the energy industry is essential to North Dakota’s economic future. Growth of the industry provided well-paying jobs and revitalized many communities in western North Dakota. He was recently endorsed by former North Dakota Gov. Ed Schafer as “the conservative business leader we need.”
As a businessman who has spent his life growing businesses, creating jobs and investing in North Dakota, Burgum understands that capital flows to the place that gives it the highest return.
Bringing that capital, and ensuing jobs, is critically important to the state.
That’s why the Republican candidate for North Dakota governor stresses the importance of creating a stable regulatory environment to attract business to the state.
Unnecessary regulation makes North Dakota a less competitive place to do business, according to Burgum. It kills jobs, discourages investment and misallocates capital.
“We’re burdening these companies by making it really challenging for them,” Burgum said.
North Dakota is competing with other shale plays across the nation, and Burgum plans to create a business environment that attracts capital to the state.
Burgum says that the relationship between businesses and government does not need to be adversarial. A collaborative approach and framework can allow all parties to achieve their goals and protect their interests.
Fighting against federal overreach is another goal of Burgum’s campaign. He pledges to be a defender of North Dakotans’ private property rights.
“How do we make sure we’re balancing all these needs in a way that we attract the optimal amount of capital to manage the resource?” Burgum said. “We do it in a way that takes care of the land owners and mineral owners, the people who are already here. That’s the balance.”
Creating great communities
In addition to creating great jobs, Burgum emphasizes the need for great communities.
After careful consideration, he chose Watford City Mayor Brent Sanford as his running mate for lieutenant governor.
Sanford, a Watford City native, worked in Fargo and Denver before moving back to his hometown in 2004. He was elected mayor in 2010 after serving on the city council for four years.
As mayor, Sanford guided Watford City through numerous challenges brought on by the Bakken oil boom. He helped the city create new infrastructure and open doors for business opportunity.
The selection of Sanford creates a balanced ticket, uniting both sides of the state. Both candidates share North Dakota values and support the empowerment of local communities. Both candidates are also familiar with issues facing North Dakota communities, from east to west.
“We know how to protect our state and our lands better than unelected Washington, D.C. bureaucrats, and I won’t let them threaten our prosperity,” Burgum wrote in a recent Op Ed piece to western North Dakota newspapers.
Burgum grew up on his family farm in Arthur, North Dakota, and currently resides in Fargo. The father of three often spends time at his ranch in western North Dakota’s Slope County.
The North Dakota Republican primary election takes place Tuesday, June 14. Burgum is running against state Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Paul Sorum. The winning ticket advances to the North Dakota gubernatorial election on Nov. 8.