ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Democratic North Dakota senator appointed to federal rural development job

In her new role, Erin Oban will oversee state operations for an agency that provides funding to rural and tribal communities for housing, economic development, small business assistance and other economic purposes.

erin_oban.jpg
Sen. Erin Oban, D-Bismarck, speaks at a bill signing on April 23, 2021, as House Minority Leader Josh Boschee, D-Fargo, looks on.
Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service
We are part of The Trust Project.

BISMARCK — The administration of President Joe Biden has appointed Erin Oban, a Democratic state senator from Bismarck, to serve as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's director of rural development for North Dakota.

In her new role, Oban will oversee state operations for an agency that provides funding to rural and tribal communities for housing, economic development, small business assistance and other economic purposes.

The only elected Democrat from Bismarck, Oban announced last year she would not run for reelection in 2022, citing divisiveness in politics.

Oban told Forum News Service on Thursday, March 17, she will resign her legislative position before she is sworn in to her new federal job at the end of the month. The local Democrats in her capital city district will be charged with appointing someone to serve out the last seven months of her term.

The lawmaker, who was first elected in 2014, said it's bittersweet to be leaving the Legislature before she anticipated, but she feels "really fortunate to continue public service in a different way."
The daughter of a farmer, Oban grew up in Ray, a small town in northwestern North Dakota. She said it's exciting to help connect rural communities with much-needed federal funding.

ADVERTISEMENT

The state's all-Republican congressional delegation — U.S. Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer and U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong — released a statement saying they looked forward to working with Oban.

“The programs under USDA Rural Development provide important support for rural America, helping to strengthen and diversify local economies and ensure access to essential services,” Hoeven said. “We will continue working to provide USDA with the tools needed to achieve these goals, and look forward to discussing the priorities and needs of our rural communities with State Director Oban.”

Jeremy Turley is a Bismarck-based reporter for Forum News Service, which provides news coverage to publications owned by Forum Communications Company.
What to read next
Breaking News
In April, Rep. Rick Becker lost the Republican nomination to U.S. Sen. John Hoeven at the GOP state convention. After the convention vote, the founder of the Legislature's ultraconservative Bastiat Caucus told Forum News Service the race might be the end of his political career.
Law enforcement located Cecil Jeanotte, 77, in Rock Lake, North Dakota. He is safe, and the Silver Alert has been canceled.
The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality will launch a pilot project to test paying landowners for results, as opposed to simply paying for conservation projects with the assumption they benefit water quality.
The Standing Rock and Fort Berthold reservations received the federal funds to repair and upgrade roadways.