JAMESTOWN, N.D. - Two seats on the North Dakota Public Service Commission appeared on the primary ballot Tuesday, June 12, but all candidates will move on to the general election this fall.
With 389 of 424 precincts reporting unofficial results, the Republican candidates received more votes than the Democratic-NPL candidates in the race for both seats.
All four candidates, however, were running unopposed by other party members for the two seats in the primary election and will meet in the November general election.
Republican Randy Christmann, incumbent commission chairman, received 99 percent of votes cast for his seat, while his North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party challenger Jean Brandt also collected 99 percent. Christmann had 54,785 votes as of 11:15 p.m., while Brandt had 30,413.
Brian Kroshus, a Republican appointed by Gov. Doug Burgum in March 2017 to the seat formerly held by Brian Kalk, received 99 percent. Casey Buchmann, the Democratic-NPL candidate, also received 99 percent. Kroshus had 54,129 votes as of an 11:15 p.m. tally, while Buchmann had 30,151.
The Public Service Commission is a constitutional agency with authority over a wide variety of services from public utilities to weights/measuring devices.
Christmann is seeking his second six-year term. Kroshus is running to fill out the remaining two years of the term originally won by Kalk, who resigned in January 2017 after being re-elected to his second term in 2014.
Buchmann is a union ironworker with 29 years of experience living in Washburn. Brandt is an administrator for a North Dakota oilfield service company based out of Westhope.
Christmann served 18 years in the North Dakota Senate and has a background in agriculture and telecommunications. He and his wife Bethanie operate a third generation cattle ranch west of Hazen.
Kroshus is the owner of a cattle and grain operation in western North Dakota. In addition to working for the Farm and Ranch Guide and Lee Agri-Media, he was publisher of the Bismarck Tribune for 10 years.