Sand skipping GOP stateAnother Republican candidate for Congress in North Dakota plans to bypass the state convention this year and take his campaign directly to the June primary.
FARGO — Another Republican candidate for Congress in North Dakota plans to bypass the state convention this year and take his campaign directly to the June primary.
U.S. Senate candidate Duane Sand announced his intentions Tuesday in an online video message to supporters, four days before Republican delegates will convene in Bismarck and endorse candidates in this year’s state and federal races.
Sand, a perennial congressional candidate in North Dakota, has received the state party’s endorsement in three previous congressional races: twice for the House and once for the Senate.
“This year, though, I think it is important to take my campaign directly to the people, all the way to the primary in June,” Sand said. “This election is far too important to leave to the establishment, where we’re all too comfortable with the business-as-usual in Washington, D.C.”
Sand is the second candidate this campaign season to skip the traditional party endorsement. Republican House candidate Kevin Cramer announced in January he wouldn’t seek the party’s endorsement at the convention.
“It is disappointing to hear Duane Sand has chosen to skip the Republican convention process that has proven to be so valuable to the people of North Dakota — the same process he has received endorsement from in past races,” NDGOP Chairman Stan Stein said in a statement. “North Dakota Republicans are prepared to stand fully behind all of our endorsed candidates at the state convention.”
Sand’s decision means he’ll concede the state party endorsement to Republican Rep. Rick Berg, who’s also running for the state’s U.S. Senate seat this year.
The two challengers will instead face off in the June primary, when the official GOP nomination in the race will be decided by statewide voters.
Whoever wins the primary will compete against Democrat Heidi Heitkamp on the November ballot.
Kristen Daum is a reporter
at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.