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Public utilities regulator joins race for North Dakota’s single U.S. House seat

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A longtime public utilities regulator announced her candidacy on Thursday for North Dakota’s lone U.S. House seat.

Republican Julie Fedorchak has sat on the state’s three-member Public Service Commission since 2013. She has won three statewide elections, most recently in 2022 with over 71% of the vote.

Fedorchak told a crowded room of Republican state officials, lawmakers and party faithful at GOP headquarters in Bismarck that she would focus on energy, agriculture and the country’s financial well-being. She said she would like to serve on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, using her knowledge from her work on the regulatory panel “to help rein in runaway agencies and support energy policies that recognize the fundamental role energy plays in public safety, our economy and national security.”

“The simple principles we follow in North Dakota that work well across our state government are the same fundamentals that will help us overcome the mountain of challenges our nation faces,” Fedorchak said.

North Dakota has an open race for its House seat because Republican Rep. Kelly Armstrong, first elected in 2018, is running for governor.

Other Republican House candidates include former state representative Rick Becker, a plastic surgeon, and former state senator Tom Campbell, a potato farmer.

Democrat Trygve Hammer, a military veteran, also is running. A Democrat hasn’t won a statewide election in North Dakota since 2012.

North Dakota’s dominant Republican Party will endorse candidates for statewide offices and congressional seats at its convention in April in Fargo. Voters in the June primary election will nominate candidates for November.

Fedorchak told reporters she intends to seek the GOP endorsement at the convention but will run in the primary.

If elected, she would be the first woman to represent North Dakota in the U.S. House.

Jack Dura, The Associated Press

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