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North Dakota Democrats tap Fargo lawmakers to lead depleted caucus

Republicans strengthened their supermajority in the North Dakota legislature on Election Day, narrowing an already small Democratic minority. The GOP now holds an 82-12 advantage over Democrats in the House of Representatives and a 43-4 majority in the Senate.

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North Dakota House Minority Leader Josh Boschee, D-Fargo, speaks at the Democratic-NPL Party's state convention in Minot on Saturday, March 26.
Kyle Martin / The Forum
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BISMARCK — A recently shrunken Democratic contingent in the North Dakota legislature selected its leaders on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Senate Democrats elected Fargo Sen. Kathy Hogan to serve as minority leader in the upper chamber. She will take over for Sen. Joan Heckaman, D-New Rockford, who was unable to run for reelection due to redistricting. Heckaman assumed the top spot in 2016.

House Democrats reelected Fargo Rep. Josh Boschee as the lower chamber's minority leader, making him the only returning floor leader from either party.

House Majority Leader Chet Pollert and Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, both Republicans, are retiring at the end of the month.

Sen. Merrill Piepkorn, D-Fargo, and Rep. Zac Ista, D-Grand Forks, will serve as assistant minority leaders in their respective chambers.

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Republicans strengthened their supermajority in both chambers on Election Day, narrowing an already small Democratic minority. The GOP now holds an 82-12 advantage over Democrats in the House of Representatives and a 43-4 majority in the Senate. The partisan makeup of North Dakota's legislature is among the most lopsided in the country.

Hogan and Boschee will be responsible for assigning Democratic lawmakers to committees, though the Senate's minority caucus is too small to have representation on every standing committee.

On Monday, Republicans elected Minot Sen. David Hogue as Senate majority leader and Dickinson Rep. Mike Lefor as House minority leader.

Legislators will meet next month in Bismarck for an organizational session before their regular session begins in January.

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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