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Cara Mund turns in signatures for independent run at North Dakota’s lone US House seat

Independent candidate Cara Mund and Republican incumbent Rep. Kelly Armstrong are the only two candidates remaining in the race after endorsed Democratic-NPL candidate Mark Haugen suspended his

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Cara Mund, an independent candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, turns in signatures to get on the ballot at the North Dakota Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022.
Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service
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BISMARCK — A month after announcing the start of her political career, Cara Mund is one step closer to appearing on the November ballot as an independent candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mund, a former Miss America titleholder and recent Harvard Law School graduate, turned in what she said were about 2,600 signatures to Secretary of State Al Jaeger's office on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

If Jaeger’s office deems later this week that at least 1,000 of the signatures are valid, Mund's name will appear on the November ballot. Mund said she’s optimistic the signatures she gathered in Bismarck and other North Dakota cities will be enough to surpass the required threshold.

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Mund and Republican incumbent Rep. Kelly Armstrong are the only two candidates remaining in the race after endorsed Democratic-NPL candidate Mark Haugen suspended his campaign over the weekend.

Haugen, who is anti-abortion, said Democratic leaders asked him to bow out of the race to give Mund, who is pro-abortion rights, a better chance at beating Armstrong.

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Mund, who noted she didn’t talk to Haugen about his candidacy, said she hopes Haugen’s decision to drop out was his own. Mund noted that Haugen’s exit from the race “potentially” helps her chances, but she was “in this race to win it” regardless of the number of candidates.

With the anti-abortion Armstrong as her only opponent, Mund said she will aim to center the race on their divergent views on abortion and the idea of “upholding democracy.”

“I do think there is a silent majority that is over the partisanship, who respects women as equals and sees the (Supreme Court’s) overturning of the Roe decision as something that will bring them to the polls, so I’m confident,” Mund said.

Congressman Kelly Armstrong
Congressman Kelly Armstrong addresses the North Dakota Republican Party's 2022 state convention in Bismarck on April 2, 2022.
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When asked if she would accept the Democratic-NPL’s backing, Mund said she doesn’t think the party will offer it to her.

Mund also condemned the state Republican Party’s name-calling of her in the wake of Haugen’s withdrawal. A GOP statement released Monday referred to Mund as a “radical Democrat.”

If she gets on the ballot, Mund said she plans to campaign, raise funds and advertise her candidacy across the state.

State elections specialist Lee Ann Oliver said her office will know by Thursday, Sept. 8, whether Mund and independent U.S. Senate candidate Rick Becker qualified for the ballot.

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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