ND Lt. Gov. Wrigley admits affair, still mulling run for governor

BISMARCK - North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley admitted Tuesday to having an extramarital affair after a blogger mentioned the rumored dalliance online, but the Republican and his wife said they are still weighing a run for governor in 2016.
North Dakota Lieutenant Governor Drew Wrigley speaks Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, at Bonanzaville west of West Fargo, N.D. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

BISMARCK – North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley admitted Tuesday to having an extramarital affair after a blogger mentioned the rumored dalliance online, but the Republican and his wife said they are still weighing a run for governor in 2016.

During an emotional interview in their north Bismarck home, Wrigley and his wife Kathleen said nothing has changed about his statement last week that he was considering a gubernatorial run in light of Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s decision not to seek a second four-year term.

“What’s changed today is that a very private matter that we’ve dealt with … has been forced out into the public discussion,” he said.

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The 49-year-old Republican and former U.S. attorney said he disclosed the affair to his wife early this year, declining to be more specific.

“Many months ago I went to Kathleen and I acknowledged to her that I had been unfaithful,” he said, sitting on a sofa next to her with his right hand clasped over her leg. “That was an intensely difficult time and we turned to our longtime pastor and prayer and also to professional guidance to begin the process of reconstituting the trust that I had damaged.”

Kathleen Wrigley, wearing a necklace engraved with the word “warrior,” choked back tears as she talked about the affair that shook their marriage of 17 years.

“This is the most painful thing,” she said. “I was shocked and probably more hurt than I have ever been, very disappointed. And in working through so many different avenues for hope, at the end of the day, I believe in second chances.”