North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum formally entered the 2024 GOP presidential primary Wednesday, becoming the 12th and likely last candidate to join the race.
Burgum, 66, announced his candidacy in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Wednesday, saying Americans should ditch President Biden and seek “a new leader for a changing economy.”
“When Joe Biden released his video announcing his re-election campaign, it was shocking what was missing,” wrote Burgum, who has been North Dakota’s governor since 2016. “He failed to articulate any economic vision for the country, he ignored the anxiety of families grappling with inflation, and he looked the other way as a recession looms.”
“My hometown, Arthur, N.D., is a small farming community where woke was something you did at 5 a.m.,” Burgum wrote later in the piece. “After earning an M.B.A. from Stanford and working for a short time in Chicago at McKinsey & Co., I moved back home in 1983 and literally bet the farm to provide the seed capital for a startup, which we grew into a world-class company, Great Plains Software.”
As governor, Burgum claimed, he “shook up the political establishment” by cutting spending, balancing the state’s budget and unleashing energy production.
Burgum rebuked Biden, 80, after the president closed down the Keystone XL oil pipeline on day one of his administration, saying the move was “wrong for the country and has a chilling effect on private-sector investment in much-needed infrastructure projects.”
However, Biden in 2021 chose not to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline after Burgum urged its approval.
“We need to stop buying energy from our enemies and start selling it to our friends and allies. America produces the cleanest and safest energy in the world. Anyone who cares about the environment should want all energy produced here,” Burgum added in his op-ed.
The North Dakota governor is one of several long-shot candidates already polling in the low single digits, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Former President Donald Trump, whom Burgum endorsed in 2016 and 2020, is currently leading the twelve-person primary field with 53.2% support, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 22.4%, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.
The pair are followed by former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (4.4%), former Vice President Mike Pence (3.8%), biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramswamy (2.6%) and South Carolina GOP Sen. Tim Scott (1.6%). Other declared candidates include radio host Larry Elder and businessmen Perry Johnson and Ryan Binkley.
Both Burgum and DeSantis have signed laws to ban abortions after six weeks and to allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons without a permit.
Burgum also has signed legislation to decrease penalties for drug crimes, such as eliminating mandatory minimums and decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana.
However, his aides told The New York Times that his campaign plans to tout his business experience and fiscal responsibility more than culture war issues.
The candidate has not announced an associated super PAC for his campaign.
Biden is leading the Democratic primary field with 59.3% voter support, followed by dynastic challenger Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at 16.8% and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson at 6.8%, according to RealClearPolitics.
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