On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Richland County voters will have 24 decisions to make.
That’s how many national, state and county races are being decided on Election Day. The local ballot is divided into three sections, covering partisan races, non-partisan races and measures.
North Dakota has three candidate teams for the offices of Governor and Lt. Governor. Fargo Businessman Doug Burgum and Mayor Brent Sanford of Watford City, North Dakota, are the Republican candidates for governor. The Democrat-Nonpartisan League candidates are state Rep. Marvin Nelson and state Sen. Joan Heckaman. Businessman Marty Riske and restaurant manager Joshua Voytek are the Libertarian candidates. For all political offices on the ballot, a write-in vote is also permitted.
“(Burgum’s) the right choice to usher in an era of change and innovation that can strengthen and diversify the state’s economy and modernize the way state government meets its mandates,” the Fargo Forum wrote in a Saturday, Oct. 29 editorial endorsing him. “Nelson has a passion for the people of his state … (Riske) has developed informed and thoughtful notions of government’s role within the Libertarian framework. Burgum would do well to seek both men’s counsel after the election.”
There are four candidates for North Dakota’s open U.S. Senate seat. They are Republican incumbent John Hoeven; independent James Germalic; Democrat-Nonpartisan Eliot Glassheim and Libertarian Robert Marquette.
Because of its population, North Dakota is only allowed one U.S. Representative in Congress. Running for that position are Republican incumbent Kevin Cramer, Democrat-Nonpartisan Chase Iron Eyes and Libertarian Jack Seaman.
The final national race concerns America’s future president and vice president. There are six candidate teams to choose from: Tennessee attorney Darrell Castle and Utah businessman Scott Bradley of the Constitution Party; U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine of the Democratic Party; California businessman Rocky De La Fuente and Florida lawyer Michael Steinberg of the American Delta Party; former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld of the Libertarian Party; Massachusetts physician Jill Stein and Washington, D.C., activist Ajamu Baraka of the Green Party; and New York businessman Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence of the Republican Party.
The North Dakota ballot features four other partisan races. They are for:
• State Auditor, which has Republican Josh Gallion against Libertarian Roland Riemers.
• State Treasurer, where Republican Kelly L. Schmidt faces Democrat-Nonpartisan Tim Mathern and Libertarian Eric Olson.
• Insurance Commissioner, which has Democrat-Nonpartisan Ruth Buffalo against Republican Jon Godfread and Libertarian Nick Bata.
• Public Service Commissioner, where Libertarian Thomas Skadeland faces Democrat Marlo Hunte-Beaubrun and Republican incumbent Julie Fedorchak.
Along with that, there are 10 non-partisan races. Among them is for the position of Richland County Commissioner-at-large. This differs from the rest of the non-partisan races because voters may give two choices. The two candidates are incumbents Tim Campbell and Dan Thompson.
Most of the non-partisan section concerns judicial races. Candidates Robert Bolinske Sr. and Jerod Tufte are running for Justice of the state Supreme Court. In a separate race, Lisa McEvers is running for an unexpired two-year term as Justice of the state Supreme Court.
Voters also also asked to select judges for five judicial districts in North Dakota’s southeast. These races are for:
• District No. 2, where Mark Blumer faces Lyle Bopp.
• District No. 4, where James Hovey is running without formal opposition.
• District No. 5, where Kim Radermacher is running opposite Daniel Narum.
• District No. 6, where Jay Schmitz is running without formal opposition.
• District No. 7, where Troy LeFevre is running without formal opposition.
Finally, the non-partisan section of the ballot includes the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Incumbent Kirsten Baesler is running against Joe Chiang. It concludes with the race for Supervisor of the Soil Conservation District, where Michael Haverland is running unopposed.
As of Tuesday, County Auditor Harris Bailey reports that 1,085 absentee ballots have been requested and sent out by his office. Of them, 682 have already been sent back.
Richland County has 15 voting precincts, all of which will be open until 7 p.m. on election day. To find out your voting location, please visit https://sos.nd.gov.
By Frank Stanko • Daily News [email protected]