Piepkorn and Hart Aim to Take Back Executive Branch

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Merrill Piepkorn and Patrick Hart earned endorsements from the North Dakota Democratic-Non-partisan League Party at its convention Saturday, vowing to take back the Executive Branch and bring balance to North Dakota government.

Piepkorn was nominated to run for Governor and Hart for Lieutenant Governor. Piepkorn said the two would be partners in the Capital to listen to the public and work with both parties to solve problems.

In speeches to delegates accepting their nominations, both candidates stressed the need to bring North Dakota together and get past partisan divisions. Piepkorn said he was nominated to be Governor for all of North Dakota, not just the Dem-NPL party or people who agree with him. Piepkorn called for supporting affordable childcare and school lunches, reforming but not eliminating property taxes, and developing agriculture and energy opportunities. He said healthcare decisions shouldn’t be in the hands of the government.

“If we want strong families and healthy communities, we need to get serious about mental health care and treatment for addictions. We need to protect the land and heal the wounds between us as cultures. We need to talk to each other again as neighbors,” Piepkorn said.

Hart said the state had lost its checks and balances and needed to restore bi-partisanship and accountability. “Good government starts at the top,” he said, stressing the need for integrity in state leadership and a commitment to transparency and efficiency in public agencies to serve the public better.

As a small business owner, Hart said, he understands firsthand what it takes to support small business and North Dakota’s main streets. North Dakota needs to welcome a workforce instead of driving them away, he said. Support for secondary agriculture markets, economic models like coops, and collective buying to keep rural grocery shelves stocked can benefit the whole state but also “can keep small towns that may be one bar or one grocery store away from turning out all the lights.”

Piepkorn has served in the North Dakota Senate since 2017 representing District 44 in Fargo. He is the current assistant minority leader and has served on committees that include Employment, Energy and Natural Resources, Finance and Taxation, Agriculture, and Human Resources. Originally from Stanley, N.D., he has been a producer and performer for Prairie Airwaves and Prairie Public Broadcasting for almost twenty-five years.

Hart, originally from Pembina who now lives in Bismarck, worked as a fertilizer auditor for North Dakota Department of Agriculture and a grain warehouse inspector for the Public
Service Commission. He is now a partner in Anytime Works, a general contracting company, and Anytime Rentals, a rental and real estate holding company. Hart has held officer positions in the North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party and was a candidate for State Auditor in 2020.

Contact Information:
Shannon Charpentier
[email protected]
(701) 793-0566