Royal Oak Tribune

AG: North Dakota governor can’t fill dead candidate’s seat with executive

- By James Macpherson

BISMARCK, N.D. » North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has no authority to appoint a coal company executive to fill a state House seat won by a Republican candidate who died before the election, the attorney general said Wednesday.

Burgum announced Wednesday that he was appointing BNI Energy President Wade Boeshans to the seat won Tuesday by David Andahl, who died last month from COVID-19.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said in a statement that Burgum’s appointmen­t on the day following the election “is both inaccurate and untimely.” Burgum defeated Stenehjem in the Republican gubernator­ial primary in 2016.

Andhahl, 55, had been sick with COVID-19 for several days before he died on Oct. 5. Andahl and fellow District 8 House candidate Dave Nehring won the Republican­s’ endorsemen­ts and voters’ nomination­s in the June primary.

Nehring and Andahl were top vote-getters for the two open House seats Tuesday over a pair of Democratic candidates in the sprawling rural district north of Bismarck.

Andahl and Nething knocked off one of North Dakota’s most powerful lawmakers, Republican Rep. Jeff Delzer, chairman of the House Appropriat­ions Committee in the June primary. Burgum gave more than $1.8 million to a political action committee that successful­ly targeted Delzer, who had clashed with Burgum over policy and spending priorities throughout the governor’s first term. Burgum was reelected Tuesday.

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