North Dakota District 14
Dem-NPL Legislative Candidates

Meet The Candidates

Jessica Hawkes – ND House

Jessica Hawkes of New Rockford grew up in McClusky and graduated from North Dakota State University with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Spanish and French. She returned home after college and has lived on her family’s fifth-generation farm outside of New Rockford since 2010. Her career has included work in business, law, education, nonprofit management, and economic development, and she is now employed with the Community College Foundation at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake. Hawkes is also currently earning a Master’s degree in Global Cultures through King’s College London and is the director of a nonprofit animal sanctuary operating out of the family homestead.

Cathy Jelsing – ND House

Cathy Jelsing of Rugby is a veteran newspaper journalist, public relations writer, and nonprofit executive. She started her 25-year journalism career in 1977 at the Devils Lake Daily Journal and in 1987 joined The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead as a writer and editor. She got her first nonprofit experience as grants manager for Trollwood Performing Arts School, Fargo, and then moved into public relations at North Dakota State University. In 2006, she and her husband, artist Terry Jelsing, moved to his family’s century-old homestead near Rugby, where she started CJ Communications. In 2011, she was tapped to serve as executive director of Rugby’s Prairie Village & Museum, a position she held for seven years. Jelsing concluded her professional career as Foundation director for Rugby’s Heart of America Medical Center, retiring in 2021.

Mark Nelson – ND Senate

Mark Nelson of Rugby is a lifelong resident of Pierce County, where his family has farmed since 1928. He grew up on the family homestead, attended Rugby schools, and graduated from Minot State University. His work experience is as varied as his expertise, from photography and freelance writing, to the hospitality industry, agriculture and engine mechanics. In the end, he has always returned to the family farm. A leader in the Dem-NPL Party, Nelson chairs the District 14 Dem-NPL Committee. In 2020 he ran for the North Dakota House of Representatives. He also was a House candidate in 2016 and played an active role in his brother’s – former N.D. Representative Marvin Nelson – gubernatorial campaign.

ND District 14 Map

District 14 is located in Pierce, Sheridan, Wells, Benson, Eddy, and Kidder Counties.


ND District 14 Dem-NPL Candidates

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