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Bismarck Republican enters race for North Dakota secretary of state

Marvin Lepp, a Bismarck auto service advisor, confirmed to Forum News Service that he plans to run for the office as a Republican.

A man in glasses wears a dark blue suit and red tie.
Marvin Lepp, a Bismarck Republican, has joined the race for North Dakota secretary of state.
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BISMARCK — A new face has joined the race to replace longtime North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger.

Marvin Lepp, a Bismarck auto service adviser, confirmed to Forum News Service that he plans to run for the office as a Republican. Lepp, who started his campaign too late to be up for consideration at the GOP state convention this weekend, said he will try to gather the 300 signed petitions necessary to appear on the ballot for the June Republican primary.

If Lepp makes the primary ballot, he will have to contend with Michael Howe, a Republican state representative from Casselton who will likely pick up the party endorsement this weekend.

Jaeger, who was first elected in 1992, has said he will not seek another term.

Lepp characterizes himself as a Christian conservative, though he said the office he's seeking should be seen as nonpartisan. Lepp said he would emphasize transparency and integrity if elected to public office.

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Many North Dakotans believe fraud occurred in the 2020 election either within the state or nationally, Lepp said. Whether or not there was fraud, Lepp said he would make sure as secretary of state that there's never "a seed of doubt" in the election process.

There is no evidence to support former Republican President Donald Trump's claims of extensive election fraud in 2020.

The secretary of state has a variety of administrative responsibilities, including overseeing elections, managing public campaign finance disclosures, maintaining business records and preserving official state documents. The secretary of state also serves on the Land Board, the Emergency Commission and the State Canvassing Board.

Jeremy Turley is a Bismarck-based reporter for Forum News Service, which provides news coverage to publications owned by Forum Communications Company.
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