FARGO – On the salsa scale, the three-way contest for the Republican governor endorsement is extra hot.
The three candidates – state Rep. Rick Becker of Bismarck, Fargo businessman Doug Burgum and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem – were seen in full charm mode Tuesday night in south Fargo, where Republicans from the city's eight electoral districts gathered to elect hundreds of delegates.
The delegates will vote at the State Republican Convention in April to endorse candidates for various offices, but the only race anyone's talking about is the one for governor.
The contest has made more people than usual want to be delegates, said Melissa Paulik, Republican District 41 chairwoman.
She said her district's 46 delegate spots were not enough to accommodate those who wanted to be a delegate, which is rare.
"We've got three interesting candidates who have a very good following," Paulik said.
People from Districts 11, 13, 21, 27, 41, 44, 45 and 46 listened to speeches from the candidates before breaking into groups and electing delegates.
So who did Fargo Republicans like best? Burgum? Becker? Stenehjem?
They weren't saying, either because they weren't sure or they wanted to keep it secret.
"I'm undecided at the moment. It's early," said Dale Mowry of District 45.
His answer echoed those of top Republican officials who declined to say who they supported when asked by The Forum earlier this week.