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Port: North Dakota Democrats vote to continue supporting pro-life U.S. House candidate

A resolution introduced by one of the party's Bismarck-area district chairs would have asked the party to withhold support from Mark Haugen, the Democratic-NPL nominated candidate for U.S. House who is pro-life and supports the end of Roe v. Wade.

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Mark Haugen, a student advisor at the University of Mary in Bismarck, announces his candidacy for 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
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MINOT, N.D. — A pro-life Democrat running for North Dakota's at-large U.S. House seat will still enjoy the support of his party despite push back from some activists.

Yesterday I reported that a district chairman for the North Dakota Democratic-NPL would be introducing a resolution calling on the party to pull support from U.S. House candidate Mark Haugen .

I can report that last night the resolution failed after an angry, and at times profane, speech from the party's District 7 chairman Patrick Englehart.

I had attempted to speak to Englehart about his resolution yesterday, but he told me he won't speak to me because he's "not a big fan" of my work.

According to my sources who attended the meeting, which was held virtually, Englehart addressed the party's policy committee for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, accusing conservatives of treating women like "brood mares" and "chattel," and accusing the Democratic-NPL of doing too much to compromise with conservatives.

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He also argued that, whether the party continues supporting him or not, Haugen is going to lose.

He told committee members that he should probably not speak up on this issue, to avoid more "Rob Port columns" about disunity in the party, but that he felt he had to. He also clashed with party chairman Patrick Hart and committee parliamentarian Chris McEwen, accusing them of trying to limit the amount of time he could speak.

MORE FROM ROB PORT
I'm just not seeing a constituency of North Dakota voters that Mund could appeal to that's large enough to lead her to victory. But, again, that's assuming that she's running to win, and not as a way to keep her celebrity alive post-Miss America.
Now that Roe v. Wade is no more, and the democratic process has engaged, we're going to be learning a lot about how Americans feel about abortion. I think we're going to find out that they are not nearly so pro-life or pro-choice as we've been led to believe.
Democrats haven't given up on America. Republicans don't want people to be miserable or dead. Most Americans, whatever their politics, have universal goals, mostly concerning peace and prosperity, and only differ on the paths we ought to take to get there. All we have to do, to make things better in America, is stop listening to the people who say otherwise.

He said, repeatedly, that the message from "conservative Christians" to women was "f--- you," a remark that earned him a rebuke from Hart and one other committee attendee who objected because his child was listening.

At the end of his speech, Englehart asked for a roll call vote, asking committee members to put their names beside their vote.

Other committee members spoke, some in favor of abortion, and others in favor of Haugen, after which the voice vote was called and the resolution failed.

The committee ultimately rejected holding a roll call vote, but observers said it was clear that the resolution received only two voice votes, one from Englehart himself.

There were approximately 55 committee members present.

After the vote, Haugen stood and thanked the committee for their support in what was described to me as an emotional speech.

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He promised to represent all members of the party regardless of their beliefs.

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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