Shaw: Cara Mund is a strong candidate

"Having been an intern for Sen. John Hoeven, Cara Mund knows politics," writes Jim Shaw. "Her positions on important issues such as the high cost of prescription drugs and women’s reproductive rights represent the majority viewpoint in the state."

Jim Shaw
Jim Shaw
We are part of The Trust Project.

Don’t underestimate Cara Mund. She’s a former Miss America, who is now running for Congress from North Dakota as an independent. I have interviewed Mund twice over the years, including last Sunday. She’s poised, charming and very smart.

With an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a law degree from Harvard, she’s also highly educated. More impressive is that while at Harvard Law School, she worked more than 1,000 hours for free and won an award for “her commitment to justice, her advocacy, compassion for her clients and stellar representation of each of those clients.”

Cara Mund looks on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022, inside West Acres Mall in Fargo as Grand Forks resident Anita Perez signs the nominating petition for Mund to run for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Contributed / Jim Shaw

Having been an intern for Sen. John Hoeven , she knows politics. Her positions on important issues such as the high cost of prescription drugs and women’s reproductive rights represent the majority viewpoint in the state. Between herself, Republican incumbent Rep. Kelly Armstrong and Democrat Mark Haugen, she’s the only one who fully understands that government should not be in your bedroom.

Some say she's trying to capitalize on her celebrity status, which is probably true. However, North Dakotans love their national celebrities from here, in part because there are so few of them from this small state. When Mund was named Miss America, the entire state was proud and excited.

Former Miss America Cara Mund announced on social media she will run as an independent for North Dakota's lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, joining incumbent Republican Armstrong and his Democratic challenger Mark Haugen. The election is three months away and until Mund dropped this bombshell, the state was headed to another snoozer election cycle.
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.
In today's cartoon, Trygve Olson comments on news that former Miss America Cara Mund is running to represent North Dakota in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Mund, a former Miss America titleholder and recent Harvard Law School graduate, spoke to Forum News Service about her views on today's most pressing political issues as she hopes to make the ballot as an independent for U.S. House of Representatives
If Rep. Kelly Armstrong and his surrogates believe independent candidate Cara Mund is a threat, you'll know it by how they treat her
If elected, Mund would have to choose a party to work with. Who would she choose? Maybe she'll refuse to answer, just as she's refused to answer who she voted for in 2020.
The Bismarck native graduated from Harvard Law School in May. She called her law school graduation a "launching pad for what I hope to accomplish next."

Voters love celebrities, as evidenced by the elections of Ronald Reagan, Donald “You’re fired” Trump, Clint Eastwood, Al Franken and Jesse Ventura. Even Fred Grandy who played “Gopher” on The Love Boat was elected to Congress, as was Sonny Bono.


Mund’s biggest problem will likely be her lack of campaign money. However, people are tired of the same old, same old politics. Mund is just what the state needs to shake up the system and change the political landscape. With her name recognition, smarts and determination, Mund has a real chance to win.

Shame on Hoeven and Sen. Kevin Cramer for voting against a $35 per month price cap on the cost of insulin. It was heartless and tone deaf. Because of the absurd filibuster rule in the Senate, the $35 cap was defeated even though 57 senators voted for it, while 43 senators (all Republicans) voted against it.

About 7 million Americans need to take very expensive insulin to stay alive. One of them is 20-year-old Danika Johnson of Horace. It costs Danika’s family a whopping $10,000 a year in out-of-pocket costs to pay for her insulin.

“I’m frustrated and angry with that Senate vote,” said Danelle Johnson, Danika’s mother. “The need is great. The need is immediate. We have to solve this problem. It’s extremely hard year after year to cover the cost of insulin. It’s heartbreaking.”

The big winner in Rick Becker’s announcement to run for the U.S. Senate from North Dakota as an independent is Democratic Party candidate Katrina Christiansen. Becker will take away votes from Hoeven, which means Christiansen went from having no chance to win to becoming a viable candidate.

I’m stumped. I just can't remember who said, “The mob takes the fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV news director.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.


"Does North Dakota really want women with complicated pregnancies to suffer? Does North Dakota really want a critical shortage of qualified obstetricians and to imprison doctors?" columnist Jim Shaw asks. "The legislature must act."

Opinion by Jim Shaw
InForum columnist Jim Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV news director.
What to read next
Members meet monthly to discuss news issues and newspaper policies, suggest story ideas and debate ethical situations involving the newsroom.
"It's going to be painful, but Republicans can't just turn away from Trump. Republicans have to lead their people away from Trumpism and the morass of conspiracy-addled grievance and unvarnished racism it has become," Rob Port writes.
Ann Bailey explains why she's thankful for agriculture in professional and personal life.
"I recently asked Lynn Helms, North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Director for the facts that rarely get reported," columnist Scott Hennen writes. "Helms tells us there is a full-on assault against our oil and gas industry in North Dakota coming from the Biden Administration."