2020 Statewide Candidates

Governor / Lt. Governor

Dr. Shelley Lenz - Governor

Dr. Shelley is a veterinarian, businesswoman, humanitarian, and great-granddaughter to the original Nonpartisan Leaguers of 1915. She lives in Western North Dakota on land that her great-grandparents homesteaded. Dr. Shelley has a double degree in chemistry and biology, a Ph.D. in neuropharmacology, and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. A past member and president of the Killdeer School Board, Dr. Shelley runs local and international economic development programs that focus on financial independence of the individual and the business, agricultural independence with an emphasis on soil health, and improving people’s lives through community efforts. Dr. Shelley will be a strong advocate to protect our quality of life, our safe communities, and our history while also leveraging science, technology, and innovation to ensure a healthy future for our communities and our land for decades to come.

Ben Vig - Lt. Governor

Ben Vig is a 5th generation farmer living on the family homestead near Sharon, ND with his wife Megan and daughter. Ben looks forward to building on his family’s long history of dedication to the land, their community, and the state. The farm currently grows wheat, barley, corn, soybeans, edible beans, and sunflowers. Building on the family legacy of engagement with the Dem-NPL, in 2006, Ben successfully ran for the House of Representative in District 23. During his time in the legislature, he learned firsthand . He worked with senior legislators in a bipartisan manner to solve problems and establish networks. Over the years, Ben has consistently been involved in both political and community leadership. Together, with Dr. Shelley, Ben looks forward to providing independent leadership to unite all North Dakotans.


Zach Raknerud

Zach is a 26 year old, lifelong North Dakotan.  After graduating high school in 2012, he attended the University of North Dakota and graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in communication. He worked in retail full-time during college and has been promoted within that company to his current management position in Minot. In 2015, Zach realized that the economy wasn't working for many working-class Americans. Since that realization, he has dedicated significant time to try and best understand where exactly our politics became broken. Today, the political power of the average American is miniscule. To fix the problem, we need young and working class Americans everywhere to run for public office.

"I am in this race because I care about the realities so many hard-working Americans face today. Our government and economy are not operating in a way that gives value to human dignity. No matter the odds, I believe we are in an unprecedented time and need to have the courage to bring a different perspective to Washington D.C." - Zach Raknerud


Patrick Hart

Patrick has served as and Auditor for the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, as well as the North Dakota Public Service Commission. Patrick also serves as a managing partner in a successful contracting business located in Bismarck, North Dakota. Patrick's values and work ethic formed from a family farm in rural North Dakota. Hardworking, trustworthy, honest is what Patrick is built from.

State Treasurer

Mark Haugen

Mark works at the University of Mary as a Student Success Advisor, and has served for thirty-four years in Emergency Medical Services as both an EMT, Paramedic, and EMS Educator.  For over twenty years, both he and his wife Sharol have practiced philanthropy for the paramedic student scholarships in North Dakota.  Mark hopes to bring a culture of transparency and accountability to the office of treasurer, and to ensure that taxpayer money is allocated correctly and efficiently.

Public Service Commission

Casey Buchmann

Casey believes that the development of our state comes with a great responsibility. He believes that our primary responsibility is to the land and the public interests of our state and its people. Casey believes that it is time to live in harmony with nature, not do it harm, and that it is time to put the public back in the Public Service Commission, where all voices are heard and nobody is left on the sidelines. We all, as citizens of North Dakota, have a responsibility and skin in the game in the direction our state is headed.