North Dakota State Senate

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North Dakota State Senate

General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2014 session start:   No regular session in 2012
Website:   Official Senate Page
Senate President:   Drew Wrigley, (R)
Majority Leader:   Rich Wardner, (R)
Minority leader:   Ryan Taylor, (D)
Members:  47
   Democratic Party (

Republican Party (

Vacancy (1)
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:   Art IV, Sec/ 1, North Dakota Constitution
Salary:   $148/session day + expenses
Last Election:  November 2, 2010 (24 seats)
Next election:  November 6, 2012 (23 seats)
Redistricting:  North Dakota Legislature has control
The North Dakota State Senate is the upper house of the North Dakota State Legislature. The Senate meets at the State Capitol in Bismarck. The Senate may consist of 40-54 members depending on the number of senatorial districts based on the Census. As of 2005, the state is divided into 47 senatorial districts. North Dakota's state senators serve without term limits.[1]

Approximately one-half the members are elected to four-year terms every two years. Generally, members from even-numbered districts are elected to four-year terms in U.S. presidential election years (2004, 2008, etc.) and members from odd-numbered districts are elected to four-year terms in general election years offset by two years from U.S. presidential elections (2002, 2006, 2010, etc.).

Members take office as of December 1 of even-numbered years.

Each member represents an average of 14,310 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[2] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 13,664 residents.[3] The Legislative Assembly convenes in regular session the following January[4].


Article IV of the North Dakota Constitution establishes when the North Dakota Legislative Assembly, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 7 of Article IV states that the Assembly is to convene in regular session every January after a legislative election. This means that the Assembly convenes in January of every odd-numbered year. Section 7 specifies that the convening date is to be the first Tuesday after the third day in January, unless this date is changed by law. Section 7 limits the length of regular sessions to no more than eighty days every two years.


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Legislature will not be in regular session.


See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Senate was in regular session from January 4 through April 28. [5] A special session has been called by Governor Jack Dalrymple for November 7 through 12 to cover legislative redistricting and disaster relief.[6]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Senate did not meet in regular session.[7]



See also: North Dakota State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of North Dakota State Senate will be held in North Dakota on November 6, 2012. A total of 23 seats will be up for election.

The signature filing deadline was April 13, 2012.


See also: North Dakota State Senate elections, 2010

Elections for the office of North Dakota's State Senate were held in North Dakota on November 2, 2010.

The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 8, 2010. The primary election day was June 8, 2010.

North Dakota State Senate
Party As of November 1, 2010 After the 2010 Election
     Democratic Party 21 12
     Republican Party 26 35
Total 47 47

In 2010, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $271,222 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: [8]

Donor Amount
North Dakota Senate Democratic-NPL Caucus $26,750
North Dakota Association of Realtors $18,550
North Dakota Republican Senate Caucus $15,602
North Dakota Association of Telecommunications Cooperatives $13,000
Lignite Energy Council $12,500
DAK PAC $12,000
Boilermakers Local 647 $11,200
North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives $11,050
North Dakota Education Association $10,750
Marathon Oil $9,600


Article 4, Section 5 of the North Dakota Constitution states: State Senators and Representatives must be, on the day of the election, qualified voters in the district from which they are chosen and a resident of the state for one year preceding election to office.


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures

Whenever there is an vacancy in the Senate, it must be filled by the district committee of the political party that currently holds the seat. A replacement must be named no later than 21 days after the vacancy. If more than 828 days are remaining in the vacant senator's term, the replacement can serve in a interim basis until the next scheduled general election. It would be up to the Governor to schedule a special election in order to determine a permanent replacement[9].



See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2010, members of the North Dakota Senate are paid $148/day during legislative sessions. Legislators receive lodging reimbursements up to $1,040/month (vouchered).[10]

The $148/day that North Dakota senators are paid as of 2010 is an increase over the $125/day they were paid during legislative sessions in 2007. The loding reimbursement has increased from $900/month in 2007 to $1,040/month in 2010.[11]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

North Dakota legislators assume office December 1st.

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of August 2014
     Democratic Party 14
     Republican Party 33
Total 47


The Lieutenant Governor of the State serves as President of the Senate.[12]

Current leadership

Position Representative Party
President Pro Tem of the Senate Rich Wardner Ends.png Republican
Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner Ends.png Republican
State Senate Assistant Majority Leader Randel Christmann Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Leader Ryan Taylor Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Assistant Minority Leader Mac Schneider Electiondot.png Democratic

2010 Leadership

Position Representative Party
President Pro Tem of the Senate Jerry Klein Ends.png Republican
Senate Majority Leader Bob Stenehjem Ends.png Republican
State Senate Assistant Majority Leader Randel Christmann Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Leader David O'Connell Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Assistant Minority Leader Carolyn Nelson Electiondot.png Democratic

List of current members

District Name Party
1 Stanley W. Lyson Ends.png Republican
2 John Andrist Ends.png Republican
3 Oley Larsen Ends.png Republican
4 John Warner Electiondot.png Democratic
5 Randy Burckhard Ends.png Republican
6 David O'Connell Electiondot.png Democratic
7 Ryan Taylor Electiondot.png Democratic
8 Layton Freborg Ends.png Republican
9 Richard Marcellais Electiondot.png Democratic
10 Curtis Olafson Ends.png Republican
11 Tim Mathern Electiondot.png Democratic
12 Dave Nething Ends.png Republican
13 Judy Lee Ends.png Republican
14 Jerry Klein Ends.png Republican
15 Dave Oehlke Ends.png Republican
16 Joe Miller Ends.png Republican
17 Ray Holmberg Ends.png Republican
18 Constance Triplett Electiondot.png Democratic
19 Gerald Uglem Ends.png Republican
20 Philip Murphy Electiondot.png Democratic
21 Carolyn Nelson Electiondot.png Democratic
22 Gary Lee Ends.png Republican
23 Joan Heckaman Electiondot.png Democratic
24 Larry Robinson Electiondot.png Democratic
25 Larry Luick Ends.png Republican
26 Jim Dotzenrod Electiondot.png Democratic
27 Spencer Berry Ends.png Republican
28 Robert Erbele Ends.png Republican
29 Terry Wanzek Ends.png Republican
30 Ron Carlisle Ends.png Republican
31 Donald Schaible Ends.png Republican
32 Dick Dever Ends.png Republican
33 Randel Christmann Ends.png Republican
34 Dwight Cook Ends.png Republican
35 Margaret Sitte Ends.png Republican
36 George Nodland Ends.png Republican
37 Rich Wardner Ends.png Republican
38 David Hogue Ends.png Republican
39 Bill Bowman Ends.png Republican
40 Karen Kresbach Ends.png Republican
41 Tony Grindberg Ends.png Republican
42 Mac Schneider Electiondot.png Democratic
43 Lonnie Laffen Ends.png Republican
44 Tim Flakoll Ends.png Republican
45 Ronald Sorvaag Ends.png Republican
46 Jim Roers Ends.png Republican
47 Ralph Kilzer Ends.png Republican

Senate Committees

North Dakota Senate has 11 standing committees:

External links