Who Is Doug Burgum? 5 Issues to Know


Doug Burgum has a minimum of a few issues going for him: He’s a sitting governor, which is the most common steppingstone to the USA presidency, and he has deep pockets.

However Mr. Burgum, the two-term Republican governor of North Dakota, nonetheless entered the 2024 presidential race on Wednesday with a notable drawback: The 99.8 % of People who don’t stay in North Dakota are unlikely to know a lot about him.

Listed here are 5 issues to find out about Mr. Burgum.

When Mr. Burgum started operating for governor in January 2016, few folks in North Dakota knew who he was both.

A ballot conducted the next month discovered him operating 49 share factors behind the state lawyer basic Wayne Stenehjem, who was the chosen candidate of the North Dakota Republican Social gathering, the departing governor Jack Dalrymple and Senator John Hoeven.

He ended up beating Mr. Stenehjem within the Republican major by greater than 20 factors.

“Arise when you noticed this coming,” Mike McFeely, a columnist for The Discussion board, a newspaper in Fargo, wrote after the primary. “OK, now sit down. As a result of no you didn’t.”

Mr. Burgum, who had by no means held elected workplace, benefited from an anti-establishment marketing campaign message — this was, in spite of everything, the 12 months that Donald J. Trump confirmed Republican voters’ urge for food for perceived outsiders — and from Democrats who crossed over to vote within the Republican major, as state regulation permits.

He additionally benefited from thousands and thousands of {dollars} of his personal cash, which allowed him to significantly outspend Mr. Stenehjem regardless of solely barely surpassing him in fund-raising.

Mr. Burgum was raised in Arthur, N.D., a tiny city about northwest of Fargo, and went on to earn a grasp’s diploma in enterprise administration from Stanford.

He then returned to North Dakota and bought a stake in a fledgling monetary software program firm by mortgaging $250,000 of farmland that he had inherited. (His grandparents based an agribusiness firm that’s nonetheless in his household.)

Within the mid-Eighties, he and his family members purchased out the founders of the corporate, Nice Plains Software program, and assumed full possession. Over the following years, it grew to become a serious provider of accounting and record-keeping software program for small and midsize companies and grew to make use of greater than 2,000 folks.

Mr. Burgum took the corporate public in 1997, and in 2001, Microsoft bought it for about $1.1 billion.

Since promoting Nice Plains Software program, Mr. Burgum has based two extra companies: Kilbourne Group, an actual property improvement agency, and Arthur Ventures, a enterprise capital agency that invests in software program corporations.

In 2021, shortly after starting his second time period as governor, Mr. Burgum announced an uncommon objective for a Republican: to get North Dakota to carbon neutrality by 2030.

Nevertheless, he rejected transitioning to renewable power, a central step that local weather scientists say is required to perform that objective. North Dakota is a serious person of wind power, however it is usually closely reliant on oil, pure gasoline and coal, and Mr. Burgum doesn’t wish to basically change that. He argues as a substitute that, through the use of new expertise to seize carbon emissions, North Dakota can turn into carbon impartial whereas persevering with to rely largely on fossil fuels.

That may be a politically interesting place in a spot like North Dakota. Due to the Bakken oil discipline within the western a part of the state, North Dakota is without doubt one of the greatest oil producers within the nation. Additionally it is one of many largest coal producers, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.

However consultants say that, whereas carbon seize could also be a great tool for combating local weather change, it’s unlikely to be ample by itself — partly as a result of excessive prices have made it exhausting for the expertise to realize traction.

Mr. Burgum has taken numerous steps to advertise carbon seize, together with signing a invoice in 2019 that created a tax incentive for a selected type of it. Extra just lately, local leaders and landowners have been preventing over a proposed pipeline that will funnel carbon from different states into underground storage in North Dakota.

North Dakota legislators have handed, and Mr. Burgum has signed into regulation, a minimum of eight payments focusing on transgender or gender-nonconforming folks in latest months. That’s greater than virtually some other state in what has been a record-breaking year for anti-transgender laws.

Mr. Burgum signed a ban on transition take care of minors, as more than a dozen other states have done this 12 months. The ban — which runs counter to the consensus of main medical organizations — makes it a misdemeanor to supply puberty blockers or hormones to minors for gender transition, and a felony to supply surgical procedure.

He signed one law defining intercourse as being decided by “intercourse organs, chromosomes and endogenous hormone profiles at beginning”; one defining “male” and “feminine”; and another prohibiting most intercourse modifications on transgender folks’s beginning certificates.

He signed a measure proscribing transgender folks’s use of loos and showers in state amenities, and another one permitting public college personnel to misgender college students and requiring faculties to tell mother and father of scholars’ “transgender standing.” (He vetoed a invoice that will have gone additional by mandating that faculties misgender many trans college students.)

He additionally signed two measures proscribing transgender ladies’ and girls’s participation in sports activities — one making use of to public faculties and to personal faculties that compete towards them, and the second making use of to schools with the identical public/personal standards.

In April, Mr. Burgum signed a law banning almost all abortions. Exceptions for rape or incest are allowed solely within the first six weeks of being pregnant, when many individuals don’t but know they’re pregnant. After six weeks, the one exception is to forestall “demise or a severe well being danger.”

Beforehand, abortion had been authorized in North Dakota by way of 22 weeks of being pregnant.

Like many different states, North Dakota had a “set off ban” that was set to take impact when the U.S. Supreme Courtroom overturned Roe v. Wade final 12 months. However that regulation — beneath which docs might have confronted felony prices for performing an abortion even to save lots of a lady’s life, and the burden would have been on them to show an “affirmative protection” that the abortion was medically vital — was struck down by the North Dakota Supreme Courtroom.

The brand new ban that Mr. Burgum signed, which state legislators handed in response to the court docket’s rejection of the set off ban, permits abortions in medical emergencies with out the necessity for an “affirmative protection” — although in apply, worry of prosecution has stopped many doctors from offering abortions for medical causes even in states whose legal guidelines have such exceptions.


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