BISMARCK – Fargo businessman Doug Burgum has raised more than $964,000 for his gubernatorial campaign since entering the race in mid-January, including a $100,000 gift this week from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, campaign finance disclosures show.

Burgum filed his pre-primary statement on Thursday, a day before the deadline, reporting $842,384 in contributions, with $31,202 coming in gifts of $200 or less.

The statement, which covers the period from Jan. 1 to May 5, listed $175,475 in cash on hand.

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In the past week, Burgum also received $100,000 from Gates and $22,150 in additional contributions, for a grand total of $964,534. Burgum led Great Plains Software in Fargo through its $1.1 billion sale to Microsoft in 2001, staying on as a Microsoft executive until 2007.

He has mounted an intense campaign to defeat the GOP’s endorsed candidate, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, in the June 14 primary. Oilfield consultant Paul Sorum also is running as a Republican after skipping the party’s endorsing convention in April.

Stenehjem and Sorum hadn’t filed their pre-primary statement as of 7 p.m. Thursday, nor had Democrat Marvin Nelson, a state representative from Rolla. Libertarian candidate Marty Riske of Fargo reported $100 in contributions.

Stenehjem, who began accepting contributions for his gubernatorial bid in October, reported contributions of more than $244,000 last year and had more than $239,000 on hand at the end of the year. He also had $150,538 in carryover from his attorney general campaign account, which could be used for the governor’s race.


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