District 4 Rep Lives in Wyoming, Lawsuit Filed to Remove Him From the Ballot

BISMARCK, ND — Terry Jones, a legislator who is seeking reelection in North Dakota’s House District 4 does not reside in North Dakota and cannot be elected to the seat under the state’s Constitution. A lawsuit was filed this week by Kenton Onstad, a resident of District 4 and chair of the District 4 Democratic-NPL Party. The case follows precedent set by the North Dakota Supreme Court after the North Dakota Republican lawsuit to remove Travisia Martin, Dem-NPL candidate for insurance commissioner, from the ballot last month.

North Dakota law requires candidates for state legislature to be a resident for one year prior to the election, and more than 80% of North Dakotans believe a legislator should live in the district they represent. Jones is currently a registered agent of Jones Brothers Enterprises, LLC in Wyoming. To hold that position, he has asserted he resides in Wyoming repeatedly, as recently as this year, meaning he cannot meet North Dakota’s residency requirement. Jones also owns residential property in Wyoming. His legislative phone number has a Wyoming area code as well.

The Democratic-NPL Party Chairwoman Kylie Oversen said:

“Residents of District 4 deserve a representative who lives in and respects their community, and North Dakotans deserve legislators who live in our state. Jones is showing a flagrant disregard for North Dakota’s Constitution and the people who live in District 4, which includes the Fort Berthold Reservation. His name should be stricken from the ballot, so voters can elect someone to pass North Dakota laws who is actually willing to follow them.

The Dem-NPL has three dedicated candidates in District 4, Thomasina Mandan and Hunter Andes for House and Lisa Finley-DeVille for Senate, who are deeply connected to the district. They will be committed representatives for their community and will work for farmer and rancher rights, safe infrastructure, access to affordable healthcare, and strong support for education.” 

For more information about the lawsuit:

Click here to view the petition and appendix.