Dalrymple wins first full term as N.D. governorRepublican Gov. Jack Dalrymple has held the office for two years but was seeking his first election to the job Tuesday as he faced Democratic challenger Ryan Taylor.
By: By Patrick Springer , Forum Communications, The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple has held the office for two years but was seeking his first election to the job Tuesday as he faced Democratic challenger Ryan Taylor.
Dalrymple had 63 percent of the vote compared to 35 percent for Taylor, with 95 of the state’s 426 precincts reporting incomplete and unofficial results by 9:10 p.m. The Associated Press declared Dalrymple the winner immediately after polls closed at 8 p.m.
Taylor, a state senator and rancher from Towner, had tried to unseat Dalrymple by arguing that he had failed to keep ahead of the explosive growth in North Dakota’s Oil Patch.
But Dalrymple, who also had served as appropriations chairman in the North Dakota House of Representatives, touted his experience as an asset in dealing with the challenges that go with unprecedented growth.
Taylor argued that Dalrymple had not been bold enough in charting the state’s course, and many in western North Dakota have seen their quality of life erode even as money was sloshing around the state’s economy.
But Dalrymple stressed the infrastructure investments and tax relief he has achieved and proposes for the upcoming legislative session, which begins in January.
Despite their differences over policy, both candidates agreed the state finds itself at a historic crossroads as it deals with the good and bad that comes with the oil boom.
Late in the campaign, Dalrymple was dogged by allegations that donations his campaign received from oil interests amounted to bribery under North Dakota law.
A Dunn County grand jury will consider the allegations, which Dalrymple’s campaign spokeswoman and the Republican attorney general dismissed as politically motivated.
The governor’s office has been held by Republicans since Ed Schafer won the seat in 1992, followed by John Hoeven, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. Dalrymple, Hoeven’s lieutenant governor, succeeded him.
It was Taylor’s first run for statewide office. His running mate, Ellen Chaffee, former president of Valley City State University, was making her first bid for elective office.
Of the 53,212 votes counted statewide by 9:10 p.m., Dalrymple had captured 33,340 to Taylor’s 18,455.
The North Dakota governor is paid a salary of $117,001 and serves a four-year term.