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North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley cruises to win over Grand Forks attorney

Drew Wrigley was appointed to the job following the death of longtime Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem in January.

Drew Wrigley stands in a crowd of people, talking
Drew Wrigley chats with well-wishers while waiting for the results in the North Dakota Attorney General's race during a gathering at Suite Shots in south Fargo on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.
David Samson / The Forum
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BISMARCK — North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley coasted to victory Tuesday, Nov. 8, more than doubling up votes against his challenger, attorney Tim Lamb.

The Republican from Bismarck jumped to an early lead over the Democratic-NPL candidate from Grand Forks in the statewide election.

Wrigley claimed 71% of the vote, compared with 29% for Lamb, with more than 234,000 votes counted, which may not contain all results returned by mail. These results are complete but unofficial.

Drew Wrigley and Tim Lamb
Republican Attorney General Drew Wrigley, left, is pictured with Democratic-NPL challenger Tim Lamb, right.
File photos

Wrigley was appointed as attorney general by Gov. Doug Burgum in February after former Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem died of cardiac arrest Jan. 28. Wrigley was already a candidate for the office, having announced in December 2021 that he would run. Stenehjem by then had said he would not seek another term.

Wrigley said Wednesday, Nov. 9, will mark nine months since he was sworn in to the office.

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Wrigley said he will continue to deal transparently with issues that preceded him taking office, a reference to a near $1.8 million cost overrun on a remodeling project for the office that happened under Stenehjem’s watch, and the deletion of Stenehjem's email account and that of his chief deputy.

A probe of the cost overrun has been turned over to Montana investigators. Wrigley said there will be reforms that come out of those circumstances.

As for becoming the 30th North Dakota Attorney General, Wrigley said "I feel honored."

The attorney general represents North Dakota in all legal matters where the state is named as a party or the state may have an interest in the outcome of the litigation. The office also provides legal services and opinions to state officials, agencies, boards and commissions.

The attorney general's term in North Dakota is four years. The annual salary is $169,162.

Wrigley, 57, served as U.S. attorney for North Dakota from 2001 to 2009 and again from 2019 to 2021.

In between, he served as lieutenant governor with Gov. Jack Dalrymple from 2010 to 2016. He also spent five years as a prosecutor in Philadelphia.

He has said he wants to get tough on violent crime and beef up the state Crime Lab.

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Stenehjem was North Dakota’s longest-serving attorney general, in office from 2000 until his death this year.

Huebner is a 35+ year veteran of broadcast and print journalism in Fargo-Moorhead.
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