North Dakota Republican governor candidate Doug Burgum has tapped Watford City Mayor Brent Sanford to be his lieutenant governor running mate.

Burgum made the announcement Thursday morning, citing Sanford's experience of keeping taxes in Watford City, N.D., low while improving the quality of life in the growing Oil Patch town, according to a news release.

"Brent understands the need to give more control back to our local communities and how to keep property taxes low, two of my most important priorities as governor," Burgum said in a statement.

Sanford is a Watford City native and has served as mayor since 2010. Prior to that, he also held a City Council seat from 2006 to 2010.

Sanford also touts business experience as owner and president of S & S Motors in Watford City and past CFO of Transwest Trucks, a multi-location truck dealership, financing and manufacturing operation with more than 400 employees, the release said.

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"I strongly believe North Dakotans are ready to send a business leader to Bismarck," Sanford said in a statement. "With our team, voters get two leaders who understand the changing economy and who will help increase the number of great jobs that keep young people and their families at home in North Dakota."

Sanford holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from UND and is a certified public accountant. He worked at Eide Bailly in Fargo for eight years before joining Transwest Trucks.

Burgum, a native of Arthur, N.D., also brings a business background to the race, building up Great Plains Software and other companies during his 33 years in the private sector. He is the founder of Kilbourne Group, a real-estate development firm based in Fargo.