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Plain Talk: Former Gov. Schafer says "nastiness" of Becker campaign prompted him to endorse Hoeven

Sen. John Hoeven is facing a challenge for the NDGOP nomination from state Rep. Rick Becker, who has burnished appeal to a very Trumpy, very online faction of Republicans who have no problem being confrontational, disruptive, and often just plain mean. "It's disturbing to me," Schafer said on this episode of Plain Talk.

Schafer
Former North Dakota governor and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer poses with the Roers' Construction truck he drove during the height of the flood fight in late March.
Special to The Forum

MINOT, N.D. — The North Dakota Republican Party has had a dominant, three-decades-long run in state politics, but former Gov. Ed Schafer, whose election in 1992 was the dawn of that era of success, says the sunset could be upon us.

It doesn't have to be, he said on this episode of Plain Talk. Things can still be corrected. But the path the party is on right now isn't one that leads to sustained success, he argues.

That was part of the reason why he endorsed incumbent U.S. Sen. John Hoeven. "A lot of it was the nastiness," he said.

Hoeven is facing a challenge for the NDGOP nomination from state Rep. Rick Becker, who has burnished appeal to a very Trumpy, very online faction of Republicans who have no problem being confrontational, disruptive, and often just plain mean .

"It's disturbing to me," Schafer said.

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He's worried that if Becker's approach to politics becomes the norm in the NDGOP, North Dakota voters will lose faith in a party whose candidates they've been consistently voting for over generations.

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"How could someone who supposedly believes in property rights use an arcane legal doctrine to seize someone else's property without paying for it?"

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at rport@forumcomm.com. Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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