We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.



Port: Democrat-NPL House candidate says Cara Mund's supporters have pressured him out of the race

"Over the past several days, I have received pressure from many Democratic-NPL Party leaders and other activists on the far left to step away, since Cara Mund has entered the race," U.S. House candidate Mark Haugen said in a released statement.

Mark Haugen, a student adviser at the University of Mary in Bismarck, announces his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives at the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party's state convention in Minot on Saturday, March 26, 2022.
Kyle Martin / The Forum
We are part of The Trust Project.

MINOT, N.D. — Over the last week it's become clear that former Miss America Cara Mund, who announced an independent campaign for the U.S. House last month, has become the preferred candidate for left-of-center North Dakotans .

Now Mark Haugen, a pro-life Democrat who accepted the North Dakota Democratic-NPL's nomination for the House earlier this year, says he's bowing out of the race, and the reason is pressure he's received from Mund's supporters.

"It is with a heavy heart that I announce that I am suspending my campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives and will be notifying the Secretary of State’s office of my decision on Tuesday," he wrote in a press release. "Over the past several days, I have received pressure from many Democratic-NPL Party leaders and other activists on the far left to step away, since Cara Mund has entered the race. Much of the far left’s concern is my pro-life position for which I have refused to compromise. Knowing this, without the support from the Democratic -NPL party, I don’t see a viable path forward to winning this race."

He says he will be holding a press conference on Labor Day to further explain his decision.

Haugen actually survived a push from some leaders in the Democratic-NPL to have the party disavow his candidacy, and his pro-life views, after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.


Mund has said she entered the race as a pro-choice candidate because of that Supreme Court ruling, though she has insisted that she's an independent candidate, despite fundraising with a former chairman of the Democratic-NPL .

But one of the big obstacles Mund faced, given her appeal to Democratic-NPL voters, was that she'd split that vote with Haugen. And the size of that voting bloc was already too small to win a statewide campaign.

Now Mund won't be facing Haugen, and that should make her race even easier, though now her claims of independence ring hollow in a race against a popular Republican incumbent, Kelly Armstrong, in a very Republican-leaning state.

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.
What to read next
If we don't like pink, I'm open to another color. Like baby blue. Or a nice aquamarine color. We can workshop it. Whatever we come up with, it should serve as a reminder that law enforcement should be about safety, both for the cops and for the public, and not some action-movie fantasy.
Did Rep. Jason Dockter, a Bismarck-area Republican, really think that this sort of dealing, assuming it's all technically in compliance with state law, would pass the smell test with the public? If he didn't, he's a fool, and if he did, you have to wonder why he went ahead with it anyway.
Sept. 4 comes and goes with a blur for many. For me there are three dates: Sept. 4, 1863; Sept. 4, 2016, and Sept. 4, 2022. This is really about the Indian Wars, which continue. I think it’s time to end the Indian Wars. It’s also time to understand that forensic facts, are not “critical race theory,” they are what happened. As school begins, let us ensure that history is taught, and that we make good choices today.
On this episode of Plain Talk, Republican secretary of state candidate Michael Howe debated Democratic-NPL candidate Jeffrey Powell on a wide-ranging set of issues related ot that office.