BISMARCK - A screening committee has recommended six candidates for two seats on North Dakota's State Board of Higher Education.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple will now choose one person from two groups of three candidates to serve on the board.

One open seat is currently held by board Chairwoman Kirsten Diederich, who is seeking another term. Former state Sen. Rod St. Aubyn and former state Rep. Curtis Kreun, both Grand Forks Republicans, are in that group.

The other group consists of Mantador farmer and former board applicant Terry Goerger, Fargo optometrist Kevin Melicher and Hazen School Superintendent Michael Ness. The chosen candidate from this group will fill the spot left vacant by Duaine Espegard, who is ineligible for another term.

Seven applied for a seat on the board. Ben Vig, a former Democratic state representative from Sharon, was not picked.

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Once chosen by Dalrymple and confirmed by the North Dakota Senate, the new board members will begin their terms July 1. A term lasts four years.

The screening committee consisted of Kirsten Baesler, North Dakota superintendent of public instruction; Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle; North Dakota United President Nick Archuleta; state Sen. Tim Flakoll, R-Fargo; and state Rep. Bill Devlin, R-Finley.