Democrat Boschee's fundraising haul outpaces Republican Gardner in open race for ND secretary of state

BISMARCK - The open race for North Dakota secretary of state got off to a spendy start, with the Democratic candidate raising more than $79,000 in the first phase of the campaign.Fargo Democratic state Rep. Joshua Boschee has raised $79,207, well...
Rep. Josh Boschee, D-Fargo, announces his candidacy for North Dakota Secretary of State, during a press conference Jan. 30 at Abovo Events in Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum News Service

BISMARCK - The open race for North Dakota secretary of state got off to a spendy start, with the Democratic candidate raising more than $79,000 in the first phase of the campaign.

Fargo Democratic state Rep. Joshua Boschee has raised $79,207, well ahead of the $12,625 reported by his Republican opponent, Mandan businessman Will Gardner, according to filings posted online by the Secretary of State's office. Boschee's pre-primary report, filed Friday, May 11, showed he had a nearly $60,000 ending balance, while Gardner had more than $5,800.

Boschee's report included a nearly $6,800 in-kind contribution from himself and $10,000 from his parents. He also received $2,500 from U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's campaign and another $2,500 from a local plumbers and pipefitters union.

Boschee's campaign said he had more than 600 "unique donors," with most being North Dakotans.

"Both individuals and industry groups are going to be looking for a fresh perspective in the office," he said Wednesday.

Gardner said he had been focused on April's GOP state convention, where he won the party endorsement over longtime Republican Secretary of State Al Jaeger. He was optimistic he would "raise an enormous amount of money" as the campaign wears on.

"We spent a lot of time in the last few weeks on the ground game," Gardner said.

North Dakota candidates' campaign finance filings can be searched here.