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Port: Let's acknowledge the deceit at the heart of Cara Mund's US House campaign

Mund would be a much more interesting candidate if she ran an authentic campaign, that reflected who she truly is, rather than trying to perpetrate this fraud.

Cara Mund, an independent candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, turns in signatures to get on the ballot at the North Dakota Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022.
Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service
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MINOT, N.D. — I like Cara Mund. I'm impressed by her political acumen.

But there is something fundamentally deceptive about her U.S. House campaign.

This self-proclaimed "independent" is trying to put one over on us.

What we are being asked to believe is that Mund is a sort of moderate Republican and not a closet liberal who is being purposefully vague about her politics so as not to alienate North Dakota's right-of-center voters.

The center plank of her campaign is abortion, but we don't know much about her politics beyond that. Or why she'd run for the U.S. House if that's her most important issue.


If Mund wins a term in the House, she might take a couple of votes on some abortion bills, representing a tiny fraction of the hundreds and hundreds of votes she'd be asked to cast. The House doesn't confirm judges, and the Supreme Court has made it clear that the question of abortion is now largely one for the states.

Abortion being Mund's top issue, one wonders why she didn't try for governor, or the state Legislature, where she could make much more meaningful progress on the issue for North Dakotans.

Did Rep. Jason Dockter, a Bismarck-area Republican, really think that this sort of dealing, assuming it's all technically in compliance with state law, would pass the smell test with the public? If he didn't, he's a fool, and if he did, you have to wonder why he went ahead with it anyway.
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Mund, who got into this race late, who has zero track record outside of campaign-trail statements to illustrate how she might vote in Congress, is trying to be all things to all people, and in politics, that's an excellent way to make most people not like you.
"I would never and did not advocate for any sort of end-run shenanigans. I wanted to push to make sure that shenanigans weren't being pushed in either direction," North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley said in response to a report that he advocated for recounts in the 2020 election in a message that reached former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Back to Mund's political affiliations, she claims she's running this campaign alone, but that's clearly not the case. Former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's fingerprints are all over it.

Mund's first organized fundraiser was with former Democratic-NPL chairman Thomas Dickson , the chairman of Heitkamp's Senate campaigns, and also the treasurer of a Heitkamp-affiliated political action committee called the One Country Fund .

Mund's first local media interview was with left-wing talk radio host Joel Heitkamp, brother to Heidi Heitkamp.

Mund's first national media interview for her campaign was with ABC News, where Heidi Heitkamp is an on-air employee .

Heitkamp has, facetiously, claimed she isn't endorsing Mund — "I will need to learn more about her position on Native American Rights, income and wealth disparity, health care and investment in education before I consider an endorsement," she is quoted as saying in the ABC News profile — but she's clearly backing her.

"Cara Mund is taking on the 'Good Old Boys' political establishment in North Dakota," Heitkamp has said . "She has proven herself to be someone who will call out the unfairness of institutions, whether it is in the political system or the Miss America world. She is very smart and very consistent in her beliefs."


Here's what we're being asked to believe: That Cara Mund is a sort of Republican moderate who chose to start her campaign late, just weeks before voting commences, with a lot of wind at her back from Democrats who poleaxed their own candidate to pave the way for her.

We're supposed to believe that high-profile Democrats, in a heated midterm with control of Congress hanging in the balance, want to send a Republican-leaning Cara Mund to the House.

They're pulling our legs.

Mund would be a much more interesting candidate if she ran an authentic campaign, that reflected who she truly is, rather than trying to perpetrate this fraud.

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at rport@forumcomm.com. Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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