Dr. Shelley Embraces Collaboration, While Burgum Shuts Out Critical Voices

BISMARCK, ND — Today, Dr. Shelley Lenz, candidate for Governor, and Ben Vig, candidate for Lieutenant Governor, released a comprehensive and collaborative COVID-19 Crisis Management Plan and governing structure, including an equal relationship between the governor, state legislature, and tribal nations. 

A key component of the Lenz-Vig plan would be to convene a special session of the legislature, a call made this year by Dem-NPL legislators, and supported by some Republicans, that went unheeded by Gov. Burgum and NDGOP leadership. 

A recent Associated Press report also showed that Gov. Burgum used a far different tone in private than in public when talking about the state’s pandemic environment. On the same day he emailed staff saying “our house is on fire” and pressed a “sense of urgency and action,” he visited Washington, D.C. and all but declared victory over the virus and the economic downturn caused by the chaotic response. Burgum has lost two top public health officials during the pandemic.

The Democratic-NPL Party Chairwoman Kylie Oversen said: 

“Where Gov. Burgum has chosen to shut out critical voices, losing two top public health officials in the process, Dr. Shelley would embrace collaboration. Where the governor has warped the risk-level to meet his political needs, Dr. Shelley will follow the facts. We need a governor who leads with transparency and who listens to experts, so we can get the virus under control and begin an economic recovery that works for all North Dakotans.”