Plain Talk: Lawmaker who resigned citing 'toxic' political environment speaks out

Listen to Sen. Nicole Poolman (R-Bismarck) talk about her decision to end a decade-long stint in the Legislature due to what she describes as a dysfunctional political environment.

PHOTO: Sen. Nicole Poolman retirement speech
Sen. Nicole Poolman, a Republican from Bismarck, announces her retirement on November 11, 2021. (Screencapture via legislative video feed)

Sen. Nicole Poolman has served in the North Dakota Senate since 2012.

During last week's special session, she announced her retirement , saying she won't be running for another term.

Some of her reasons were personal, she wants to spend more time with family, and some were professional, she wants to focus on her job as a teacher, but part of the reason is what she cited as a "toxic" political environment.


Sen. Poolman joined this episode of Plain Talk to discuss that toxicity.

Subscribe to Plain Talk on your favorite podcasting platform by clicking here .

To comment on this article, visit

Rob Port, founder of, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at .

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 Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
What To Read Next
A couple of bills introduced quietly would help feed students in public schools
"How could someone who supposedly believes in property rights use an arcane legal doctrine to seize someone else's property without paying for it?"
Salonen writes that her father passed away just days before her first column published in The Forum. While she wishes he would have been able to read her work, she's certain he would be proud.
Leadership takes honest reflection and thinking about the needs of others, Jenny Schlecht writes. With that in mind, do we have the right leaders to get a new farm bill passed by Sept. 30?