Doug Burgum, little-known governor of North Dakota, announces White House run

Mr Burgum joins a field that now includes former vice president Mike Pence, ex-New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in addition to ex-president Donald Trump

Eric Garcia
Wednesday 07 June 2023 14:24 BST
(Getty Images)

Doug Burgum, the little-known governor of North Dakota, announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president on Wednesday morning, further crowding the Republican field.

Mr Burgum, who won re-election in staunchly Republican North Dakota last year, will make his announcement official on Wednesday morning. In a preview video released on Tuesday, he previewed a tagline calling himself “a new leader for a changing economy,” indicating a campaign focused on kitchen-table issues rather than culture war bombast.

The governor did not mention President Joe Biden in his announcement video, nor did he mention former president and current candidate Donald Trump.

“Anger yelling and fighting,” he said. “That's not gonna cut it anymore. Let's get things done.”

While Mr Burgum’s announcement video hinted at a campaign focused on the economy, his record on GOP red-meat matters puts him squarely in the party’s conservative wing. He’s a staunch supporter of the fossil fuel industry — a major employer in his state — and has signed a near-total abortion ban into law.

The North Dakota governor’s entrance into the 2024 Republican presidential primary field makes him the third candidate to throw his hat into the thing during the last week alone.

On Monday, former vice president Mike Pence and ex-New Jersey governor Chris Christie filed the requisite paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to be counted as candidates in next year’s GOP primary. Mr Christie, a former ally of Mr Trump who is recasting himself as a critic this time around, kicked off his campaign at St Anslem’s College in New Hampshire on the night of 6 June.

Mr Pence is set to hold a kickoff rally on Wednesday and follow that up with a CNN town hall appearance that evening.

The three candidates who’ve jumped in this week are joining a primary field as diverse as any the GOP has ever had. Three primary candidates — Sen Tim Scott (R-SC), former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy — are persons of colour, as is right-wing talk show host Larry Elder.

The two frontrunners in the race, Mr Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, both hail from the Sunshine State, while little-known businessman Perry Johnson is a resident of Michigan.

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