John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.
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GRAND FORKS—North Dakota Democrats attending their state convention here described former Vice President Joe Biden as a "down to earth" politician after he rallied party faithfuls to re-elect Sen. Heidi Heitkamp Saturday, March 17. Biden's speech helped boost some Democratic enthusiasm ahead of the convention as the party seeks to defend its only statewide officeholder and win seats elsewhere. Mary Rennich, a delegate from Bismarck, heard Biden speak during a luncheon that was closed to the press prior to his keynote speech at the Alerus Center.
GRAND FORKS—North Dakota Democrats endorsed Grand Forks attorney Mac Schneider as their candidate for the U.S. House at their state convention Saturday, March 17, at the Alerus Center. Schneider is a former state senator who was minority leader when he lost his re-election bid in 2016. He bested former state Rep. Ben Hanson and sitting state Sen. John Grabinger for the Democratic nod.
Buying a home for the first time can be an overwhelming experience, but experts in the field say there are some things prospective homebuyers can do to ease those headaches. Roseann Lund, senior vice president of mortgage lending at Gate City Bank, said first-time homebuyers should get prequalified or preapproved for a mortgage. That helps ensure that "we're looking at homes that are in the right price range for what they can do so they don't fall in love with something that's not attainable," said Becky Aadnes, a real estate agent at Alliance Real Estate in Bismarck.
Homeownership seems out of reach for Amy Kielmeyer. Saddled with about $80,000 in student debt, the University of North Dakota lecturer rents an apartment in East Grand Forks, Minn. Absent a boost in income, she doesn't foresee being able to afford a home of her own. "When I really sit down and think about it, if nothing were to change and I would just continue where I'm at right now, I don't think I would ever be able to own a house," Kielmeyer said. "At this point I just sort of stopped even thinking about it."
GRAND FORKS—Encouraged by the party's success elsewhere, North Dakota Democrats opened their state convention here Friday, March 16, with hopes of climbing out of the electoral cellar in this Republican-dominated state. And amid the festivities, attendees remembered the last Democrat to serve as North Dakota's governor, George A. "Bud" Sinner, whose funeral was held Friday morning in Fargo.
BISMARCK — The state of North Dakota has asked a federal judge to speed up his review in the ongoing battle over its voter identification laws as a statewide election draws closer. In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in North Dakota Friday, March 9, an attorney for the state noted that the primary election is just three months away. Moreover, absentee and mail-in ballots for that election can be submitted as early as April 27.
BISMARCK—When North Dakota Democrats gather this weekend in Grand Forks for their state convention, they'll find something that's been largely missing within the party recently: competition for a statewide seat.
BISMARCK—State rules governing North Dakota's new medical marijuana program will go into effect April 1 after a legislative committee reviewed the guidelines Monday, March 12. The Administrative Rules Committee meeting marks a significant step in the state Department of Health's efforts to implement the program about 16 months after voters approved a ballot measure legalizing marijuana for medical use. Citing flaws, legislators rewrote that law last year.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota committee plans to examine more than a dozen proposals later this month to alter the state’s ballot measure process. One proposed constitutional amendment would require initiated measures that have attracted enough signatures to be submitted to the Legislature for a vote. If lawmakers or the governor reject the measure, it would be placed on the next general election ballot, according to a draft of the resolution shared with Forum News Service.
BISMARCK—State officials are planning to spruce up the landscaping around the yet-to-be-completed North Dakota governor's residence—and a Fargo firm tied to Gov. Doug Burgum is helping out. But the state's facility management director said Monday, Feb. 26, the landscape architecture firm was involved with the residence project long before Burgum took office in 2016.