North Dakota down ballot state executive elections, 2014

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North Dakota Down Ballot State Executive Elections

Primary Date:
June 10, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

North Dakota State Executive Elections
Top Ballot
Secretary of StateAttorney General
Down Ballot
Agriculture Commissioner, Tax Commissioner, Public Services Commissioner

Flag of North Dakota.png
Four down ballot state executive positions were up for election in the state of North Dakota in 2014. The four down ballot offices up for election in 2014 were the North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture, the North Dakota Tax Commissioner and two seats on the North Dakota Public Service Commission. The general election took place November 4, 2014.

Incumbents in all four races were seeking re-election in 2014. Doug Goehring (R) ran for another term as agriculture commissioner in a contentious race with Ryan Taylor (D). To learn more about the overlap between the state's oil boom and the 2014 agriculture commissioner race, check out the race background section. Ryan Rauschenberger (R) faced Jason Astrup (D) and Anthony Mangnall for another term as the state's tax commissioner. Voters were also tasked with choosing between Republican and Democratic candidates for two seats on the state's public service commission.

Doug Goehring, Ryan Rauschenberger, Brian Kalk and Julie Fedorchak won in the general election.

North Dakota is one of 14 states that uses an open primary system, in which voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[1][2][3]

Agriculture Commissioner

Candidates

General election

Republican Party Doug Goehring - IncumbentGreen check mark transparent.png
Democratic Party Ryan Taylor[4]

Withdrew

Republican Party Judy Estenson[5][6]

Results

General election

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDoug Goehring Incumbent 57% 139,597
     Democratic Ryan Taylor 42.9% 105,094
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.2% 377
Total Votes 245,068
Election Results via North Dakota Secretary of State.

Duties

Agriculture is one of North Dakota's leading industries, and the commissioner is responsible for ensuring the safety of people, animals, and plants across the state. The primary duties of the office are:

  • protect livestock and other domestic animals from disease
  • inspect farms and processing plants
  • regulate pesticide production, use and disposal
  • provide mediation services to farmers
  • certify the state's commodities
  • work with local jurisdictions on crop control[7]

Race background

Policypedia
Policypedia Energy logo.jpg
Policy and Elections
Energy policy was a major issue in North Dakota. Find out more about North Dakota Energy policy.

The North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture also serves as a member on the state's three-member Industrial Commission. This commission, among many duties, regulates North Dakota's oil and gas industry.[8] The race for agriculture commissioner took on a heightened profile due to candidate disagreements over how to deal with the rush to extract oil and gas from the Bakken shale.

The incumbent, Republican Doug Goehring, expressed support for an accelerated rate of oil extraction, opposing legislation that might slow down the growth of drilling.[9] In a speech at the state Republican convention, he implied support for a balanced approach, saying that "the ties between agriculture and energy have never been more important that they are today," but the North Dakota Farm Bureau endorsed his primary challenger, Judy Estenson.[10] Estenson, who was running to reform the office following allegations of mismanagement and harassment, lost the state GOP endorsement and dropped out of the race.[10][11]

The Democratic challenger, Ryan Taylor, expressed concern about the consequences of the oil rush. He said, "You can’t unleash all that oil and then wonder why the train tracks are full of oil tankers and you can’t get grain on from the elevators in North Dakota and get that product to market."[12] Taylor advocated for greater weight on agricultural considerations; he was described as "the man who’s going to bring balance to the Industrial Commission."[12]

Campaign finance

Campaign finance disclosures filed by early October showed Goehring with $339,000 in contributions compared to $285,000 for Taylor.[13]

Issues background: Fracking
Oil production in North Dakota.png
See also: Fracking in North Dakota

Since oil was first struck in 1951 in North Dakota, over 13,000 wells have been drilled. The graph to the right shows how oil production has soared in the state, growing from 45.14 million barrels of oil in 2007, to 313.8 million barrels in 2013. This growth has brought both opportunities and challenges for the state. A study for the American Petroleum Institute estimated that 12 percent of state employment, and 13.1 percent of labor income in 2011, was due to the oil and gas industry.

The growth of the industry has also brought challenges, however, as large numbers of people have moved to the area seeking employment. This migration has increased the demand for housing, as well as police, fire and other government services. Additionally, concerns have been raised over the potential environmental impacts of such a large-scale boom. While fracking has been used for decades in the United States, there are concerns over the ability of regulators to enforce environmental protections consistently.[14][15][16][17]

Polls

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner
Poll Doug Goehring (R) Ryan Taylor (D)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
DFM Research (dead link)
October 21, 2014
47%37%16%+/-4.7430
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Past elections

2010

North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDoug Goehring Incumbent 68% 157,867
     Democratic Merle Boucher 31.9% 74,143
Total Votes 232,226

2006

On November 7, 2006, Roger Johnson won re-election to the office of North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture. He defeated Doug Goehring (R) in the general election.

North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRoger Johnson Incumbent 55.8% 119,812
     Republican Doug Goehring 44.2% 94,736
Total Votes 214,548
Election Results Via: North Dakota Secretary of State

Tax Commissioner

Candidates

General election

Republican Party Ryan Rauschenberger - IncumbentGreen check mark transparent.png
Democratic Party Jason Astrup[18]
Libertarian Party Anthony Mangnall[18]

Results

General election

North Dakota Tax Commissioner, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRyan Rauschenberger Incumbent 56.8% 135,329
     Democratic Jason Astrup 36.7% 87,516
     Libertarian Anthony Mangnall 6.4% 15,238
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.1% 344
Total Votes 238,427
Election Results via North Dakota Secretary of State.

Duties

The main responsibility of the tax commissioner is to collect tax revenue that is required by North Dakota law through the administration of said laws. The specific powers and duties of the commissioner are outlined in Chapter57-01-02 of the North Dakota Century Code.

Past elections

2010

North Dakota Tax Commissioner, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngCory Fong Incumbent 67.4% 156,520
     Democratic Cynthia Kaldor 29.2% 67,856
     Libertarian Richard Flattum-Riemers 3.3% 7,716
     Write-In Various 0.1% 160
Total Votes 232,252
Election Results Via: North Dakota Secretary of State

2006

North Dakota Tax Commissioner, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngCory Fong Incumbent 53.1% 112,154
     Democratic Brent Edison 46.9% 99,243
Total Votes 211,397
Election Results Via: North Dakota Secretary of State

Public Services Commissioner (Two seats)

There were two commission elections in North Dakota on November 4, 2014. There was a regularly scheduled election for one seat, while a second seat was a special election for the remainder of an unexpired term. Julie Fedorchak has served on the commission since replacing Kevin Cramer in January 2013, and seeks election to the remaining two years of Cramer's term.

Candidates

Regular election

Republican Party Brian Kalk - IncumbentGreen check mark transparent.png
Democratic Party Todd Reisenauer[19]

Special election

Republican Party Julie Fedorchak - IncumbentGreen check mark transparent.png
Democratic Party Tyler Axness[19]

Results

North Dakota Public Services Commissioner, General election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Kalk Incumbent 64.8% 154,409
     Democratic Todd Reisenauer 35.1% 83,557
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.2% 370
Total Votes 238,336
Election Results via North Dakota Secretary of State.
North Dakota Public Services Commissioner, Special election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJulie Fedorchak Incumbent 66% 156,596
     Democratic Tyler Axness 33.8% 80,319
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.2% 401
Total Votes 237,316
Election Results via North Dakota Secretary of State.

Duties

The commission is responsible for regulating public utilities. The board is granted jurisdiction over railroads, telecommunications companies, pipelines, electric, and heating companies; grain elevators and warehouses; weights and measures; public auctioneers and auction clerks; the siting of energy plants and transmission facilities; reclamation of mined lands; and all other public utilities working within the state.[20] The specific duties of the commissioners are outlined in Chapter49-01 of the North Dakota Century Code:

The commission does NOT have jurisdiction over:

  • rural electric cooperatives
  • most small telephone companies
  • cable television

Past elections

2012

North Dakota Public Service Commission General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRandy Christmann 54.6% 164,591
     Democratic Brad Crabtree 41.1% 123,978
     Libertarian Joshua Voytek 4.3% 13,098
Total Votes 301,667
Election Results via North Dakota Secretary of State.


2010

On November 2, 2010, Kevin Cramer won election to the office of North Dakota Public Service Commission. He defeated Brad Crabtree (D) and Joshua Voytek (L) in the general election.

North Dakota Public Service Commission, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKevin Cramer Incumbent 61.5% 142,644
     Democratic Brad Crabtree 34.9% 81,011
     Libertarian Joshua Voytek 3.6% 8,315
     Write-In Various 0.1% 144
Total Votes 232,114
Election Results Via: North Dakota Secretary of State

2008

North Dakota Public Service Commission, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Kalk 53.2% 156,221
     Democratic Cheryl Bergian 46.8% 137,682
Total Votes 293,903
Election Results Via: North Dakota Secretary of State

Key deadlines

Deadline Event
April 7, 2014 Primary filing deadline[21]
June 10, 2014 Primary election
September 2, 2014 General election filing deadline for independent candidates
November 4, 2014 General election
January 1, 2015 Official swearing-in of state executive officials elected in November
January 6, 2015 Ceremonial swearing-in of state executive officials elected in November

Recent news

Agriculture Commissioner

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North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Election News Feed

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Public Service Commission

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North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Election News Feed

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Tax Commissioner

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North Dakota Tax Commissioner Election News Feed

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See also

External links

References

  1. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  2. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  3. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013, through January 3, 2014, researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  4. Farm and Ranch Guide, "Ryan Taylor outlines ag priorities," March 17, 2014
  5. Judy Estenson for ND Agriculture Commissioner, "Bio," March 17, 2014
  6. Ag Week, "ND ag commissioner Goehring survives GOP endorsement challenge," April 8, 2014
  7. Junto Society.com, "North Dakota agriculture commissioner," accessed July 13, 2011
  8. North Dakota Industrial Commission, "About," April 10, 2014
  9. Ag Week, "ND ‘extraordinary places’ policy approved, but comment process will apply only to public land," April 10, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 Bismarck Tribune, "N.D. GOP endorses incumbent for ag post," April 10, 2014 (dead link)
  11. Watchdog.org, "Future of ND oil boom could hinge on ag commission race," April 10, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 Taylor for North Dakota, "Jamestown Sun: Taylor calls for balance with oil in bid," April 10, 2014
  13. NewsOK, "ND agriculture commissioner contest more about oil," October 12, 2014
  14. North Dakota Energy Forum, "North Dakota Oil and Gas History," accessed July 25, 2014
  15. North Dakota Oil and Gas Division, "North Dakota Annual Oil Production," accessed October 15, 2014
  16. PricewaterhouseCooper LLP, "Economic Impacts of the Oil and Natural Gas Industry on the US Economy 2011," July 2013
  17. Stanford Law School Student Journals, "Local Government Fracking Regulations: A Colorado Case Study," January 2014
  18. 18.0 18.1 Bismark Tribune, "Candidates announce for state tax commissioner's race," February 11, 2014
  19. 19.0 19.1 North Dakota Secretary of State, "2014 Primary Election Contest/Candidate List," April 9, 2014
  20. North Dakota Legislation, "Article 69-01: General administration," accessed July 13, 2011
  21. North Dakota Secretary of State, "North Dakota Election Calendar," January 2, 2014