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Jaeger: ND Libertarian falls short in primary, won't appear on November ballot for secretary of state

Roland Riemers

BISMARCK — Libertarian Roland Riemers won't appear on the November ballot for North Dakota Secretary of State after falling short of the 300-vote threshold during this month's primary election, the office's current occupant said Friday, June 22.

Riemers, a frequent candidate for political office from Grand Forks, asked for a recount after receiving just 247 votes across the state during the June 12 primary. But incumbent Secretary of State Al Jaeger, a Republican, said that's not possible because Riemers was unopposed.

"There's nothing to recount," Jaeger said.

Riemers suggested he may pursue legal action to force a recount. In his letter demanding one, he said it was "fairly possible" that some votes were miscounted or "slipped through the cracks."

The news marks another turn in a race that has already seen the Republican candidate, Will Gardner, drop out once his 2006 peeping arrest surfaced. Jaeger is mounting an independent campaign for the office that he's held since 1993.

Democratic state Rep. Josh Boschee is his party's candidate for secretary of state.

Riemers' shortcoming also means the state's Libertarian Party will need to collect 7,000 signatures in order to have a separate column in the 2020 election cycle, Jaeger said. Riemers was the only Libertarian running for statewide office this year.

The state Canvassing Board certified statewide, legislative and judicial primary election results during a meeting at the Capitol Friday.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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