McFeely: Mund’s announcement brings needed shake-up to North Dakota politics – InForum


FARGO – The 2022 political season in North Dakota just got nice. Maybe not so much for Kelly Armstrong. But for the rest of the state’s residents and those in politics? oh yeah

Former Miss America Cara Mund announced on social media that she will run as an independent for North Dakota’s sole seat in the US House of Representatives, joining incumbent Republican Armstrong and his Democratic challenger Mark Haugen.

The election is three months away and until Mund dropped the bomb on Saturday, the state was headed for another election cycle. North Dakota is a bright red state, the Democratic Party-NPL barely registers a pulse, and the Republicans were going to waltz to victory in every state election.

That included Armstrong, who won his first bid for re-election in 2020 with nearly 70 percent of the vote. Kelly’s weekend likely didn’t go as well as planned after Mund made his announcement.

Don’t get it wrong. Even if Mund can gather the necessary 1,000 signatures (he’s betting $5 that the North Dakota Legislature will change the law to significantly increase that number in its next session) and is on the fall ballot, Armstrong remains a great favorite to easily keep your seat.

Heck, we don’t even know much about what Mund stands for, what his positions are on the issues, whether he can raise money, and who (if anyone) is backing his bid.

He has spoken publicly about his political aspirations. In 2018, Mund said she wanted to be North Dakota’s first female governor. He made some headlines in 2017 for speaking out against the US leaving the Paris climate change accords.

“I don’t really identify as a Democrat or a Republican, just as an American. I’m a person, not a party,” Mund said in 2017.

I don’t know Mund. I never met her. I never spoke to her. Other than reading news articles about her, I don’t know much about her.

Perhaps making assumptions is dangerous. But from what I’ve read and after talking to a few people, I don’t think she’s an ideological extremist.

However, he is likely on the right side of the political spectrum, given that he interned in the office of Republican US Senator John Hoeven.

Everything in this column that follows is based on these assumptions.

At this early juncture, there’s reason to believe the 28-year-old Bismarck Century graduate can appeal to a significant portion of the North Dakota electorate.

Cara Mund announced on Saturday, August 6 that she plans to run for the US House of Representatives as an independent.

Facebook photo

His name ID is already high and that is a huge advantage in politics. Most people have heard of Miss America North Dakota. Mund’s name ID could be higher than that of Armstrong, who polls have shown trailing Hoeven, Republican U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer and Republican Gov. Doug Burgum.

Mund will receive a great deal of media attention, both state and national. It’s a great story: A young, former Miss America returns to her home state after graduating from Harvard Law School and runs for political office against the establishment.

By all accounts, and obviously backed by her achievements, Mund is incredibly intelligent, driven, well-spoken, personable and focused. This race, as far as we can tell, is not some half-baked fringed wingnut running for attention. Mund is legit.

If your beliefs are not extreme, running as an independent this cycle is an advantage. Even in North Dakota, Trump Land, there are Republicans tired of their party’s right-wing wackadoodles. And they are certainly afraid of what they see as “socialist, communist democrats” (rolling eyes). Perhaps there is a path for an independent, presumably moderate, presumably common-sense, non-party-affiliated politician.

one more thing

Something is in the air politically in the country after the conservative US Supreme Court killed Roe v. Wade. It will continue into the fall after what happened last week in Indiana, where the Republican legislature and governor passed a near-total ban on abortion in the state.

The recent overwhelming vote in deep red Kansas to reject a proposed state constitutional amendment that said there was no right to an abortion in the state could be a harbinger of things to come. For the Kansas vote to go the way it did — 59% to 41% in favor of protecting abortion rights (Kansas voted for Trump over Joe Biden 56% to 42% in 2020), a good number of pro-Trump Republican women had to. vote for it

That’s important because if, and that’s a massive “yes,” Mund is in favor of protecting abortion rights, that sets her apart significantly from Armstrong and Haugen, two middle-aged men who are against it. of abortion Yes, the Democrat in this race is against abortion rights.

Mund could get votes from women, certainly Democrats but mostly Republicans, who support abortion rights. Given the results in Kansas, there are clearly Republican women who are so quietly appalled that abortion rights are being rolled back in America.

As of today, we don’t know where Mund stands on abortion or most other issues. If she turns out to be against abortion, that advantage is removed. We will know in time.

In the meantime, enjoy Mund’s much-welcomed audacity. It has made the sprint to November infinitely more interesting. And if you’re foolish enough to turn down this young woman’s generous offer with one hand, no matter how good it may be, you should check your pulse. This will be fun.

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