Politics /

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum Launches Presidential Campaign

'We need a leader who's clearly focused on three things; economy, energy and national security,' said Burgum

Governor Doug Burgum of North Dakota is the latest Republican to enter the 2024 presidential race.

The two-term governor is considered a long-shot contender as former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continue to lead in the polls.

At his campaign kick-off, Burgum stressed his rural upbringing and his economic accomplishments

“Right now, the world, our economy are both changing rapidly and how we respond will define our future,” said Burgum in his speech. “Technology’s changing every job, every company and every industry – and this change will become more rapid than ever before. We need new leadership for the changing economy.”

“We need a leader who understands the real work that Americans do every day,” the governor continued. “Someone who has worked alongside our farmers, our ranchers, and our small business owners. Someone who has held jobs where you shower at the end of the day – not at the beginning.”

“To unlock the best of America, we need a leader who’s clearly focused on three things: economy, energy and national security and that is why today I am officially announcing I am running for president of the United States of America,” he said.

In the last year, Burgum has backed a number of socially conservative bills. He signed a six-week abortion ban – which was temporarily blocked by the North Dakota Supreme Court – into law in April. 

“This bill clarifies and refines existing state law … and reaffirms North Dakota as a pro-life state,” Burgum said at the time.

Burgum has supported a number of laws that regulate policies regarding gender expression and identification. In May, he was denounced by the American Civil Liberties Union after he signed a bill permitting state employees and teachers to use biologically correct pronouns rather than preferred pronouns when speaking with or about co-workers and students. 

He was also one of more than 20 governors who opted to formally ban TikTok from being used or downloaded on government-owned devices at the end of 2022.

“Protecting citizens’ data is our top priority, and our IT professionals have determined, in consultation with federal officials, that TikTok raises multiple flags in terms of the amount of data it collects and how that data may be shared with and used by the Chinese government,” said Burgum when issuing his executive order. “Reducing this security risk is the right thing to do.”

Prior to his time in government, the 66-year-old found success in the technology sector. He founded Great Plains Software, which specialized in accounting software, in 1983. He sold his business in 2001 to Microsoft for over $1 billion and stayed with the technology behemoth as a vice president until 2007. As part of the terms of the acquisition, Microsoft Great Plains remained headquartered in Fargo.

He won reelection in 2020 and is eligible for a third gubernatorial term. 

To launch his campaign, Burgum opted for a public event at a church in Fargo. The debut contrasts former Vice President Mike Pence, who formally launched his campaign this week by releasing a prerecorded video. Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie also launched his 2024 campaign this week.

Burgum, Pence and Christie join former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott. Additionally, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and radio host Larry Elder are also campaigning for the Republican nomination.

President Joe Biden is seeking reelection. Two Democrats are challenging him – author Marianne Williamson and environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

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