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After losing by 38 votes, Fargo candidate slams Postal Service for late delivery of campaign flyers

"In such a close race, it's hard not to wonder what the outcome might have been, Olafson said in a written statement in which he maintained that between 260 and 280 of his campaign mailings reached Republican households in District 10 two days after the election.

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Curtis Olafson.
Contributed photo
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FARGO — Curtis Olafson, a Republican who was defeated by 38 votes in the Nov. 8 election for the newly created District 10 state Senate seat in North Dakota, is criticizing the U.S. Postal Service for the late delivery of more than 200 of his campaign flyers.

"In such a close race, it's hard not to wonder what the outcome might have been," Olafson said in a written statement in which he maintained that between 260 and 280 of his campaign mailings reached Republican households in District 10 two days after the election.

Olafson said the mailings were scheduled to reach more than 900 Republican households between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2, and he said Postal Service officials have acknowledged the agency received mailings for delivery as early as Oct. 29.

"It’s truly disappointing to know that a basic campaign strategy to reach hundreds of Republican voters was denied us,” Olafson said, adding that he was puzzled about why the mailings were broken up into batches by the Postal Service before being distributed.

"I trust that the Post Office will do a thorough investigation; it’s important to know what actually happened and why," Olafson said.

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In response to the criticism, the U.S. Postal Service offered this statement from spokesman Desi Abdul-Razzaaq.

"The U.S. Mail serves as a secure, efficient, and effective means for citizens and campaigns to participate in the electoral process. We employ a robust and proven process to ensure proper handling of all political and campaign mail," Abdul-Razzaaq said.

"Regarding the customer’s political mailing, postal management researched to find that the candidate’s political mailing was delivered promptly on arrival in Fargo," Abdul-Razzaaq added.

He said more information about how the Postal Service handles political mail may be found here: https://www.usps.com/business/political-mail.htm .

Olafson received 1,526 votes in the Nov. 8 general election. Democrat Ryan Braunberger was elected with 1,564 votes in the District 10 Senate race. The district, which sits west of Interstate 29 and straddles Interstate 94 in south Fargo, was newly created due to redistricting.

Olafson served as a state senator from 2006-2012. He currently serves as chairman of the District 10 Republican Party.

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North Dakota Legislative District 10.
Map via North Dakota Legislature

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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