Port: Gov. Burgum's ex-wife endorses his opponent Shelley Lenz

Shelley Lenz, right, Democratic candidate for North Dakota governor, meets local voters during a picnic Wednesday at Lincoln Park. At left is Sheryll Weisenberger. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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MINOT, N.D. -- North Dakota's gubernatorial campaign just got very personal.

In a Facebook post today Shelley Lenz, the Democratic-NPL candidate challenging incumbent Republican Gov. Doug Burgum, touted an endorsement from Karen Stoker.

Stoker was Burgum's wife. The two were married from 1991 to 2003.


"Last week Karen Stoker of Fargo hosted an amazing outdoor event - we shared laughs, ideas, and strategy to bring Homegrown Prosperity back to North Dakota - and of course our love of bees!" Lenz wrote in the post. "Across the state, I am meeting people who share the joys and love for North Dakota - people who, like me, want a state government that works for everyone. I am honored to be endorsed by Karen, and by individuals and groups of all backgrounds from every corner of North Dakota," she continued.

Stoker has come up before in Burgum's political career. During his heated competition against Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem for the NDGOP's nomination during the 2016 cycle, a letter Stoker wrote to the Fargo Forum opposing pro-life legislation was brought up in the context of Burgum's own views on the issue.

Stenehhjem alleged that Burgum had urged then-governor Jack Dalrymple to read Stoker's letter.

Burgum denied advocating her position .

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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.
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