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‘Underestimated’ candidate joins 2024 GOP presidential race

A Marine F-35B Lightning II from Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, S.C. flies over the White House on June 12, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. James R. Skelton)
June 07, 2023

The governor of North Dakota has entered the 2024 presidential race, adding to the already long list of Republican challengers taking on former President Donald Trump in the GOP primary.

During his announcement in Fargo, Gov. Doug Burgum said he would focus on three things as president: economy, energy and national security.

“We need a leader who understands the real work that Americans do every day — someone who’s worked alongside our farmers or ranchers and our small-business owners,” Burgum said. “Someone who’s held jobs where you shower at the end of the day, not at the beginning.”

“We need a leader who’s experienced firsthand that we win as a country when our innovators and entrepreneurs can soar and when every single person can grow and thrive,” he added. “We need a leader who’s clearly focused on three things: economy, energy and national security. And that is why today I’m officially announcing I’m running for president of the United States.”

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Burgum joins a growing GOP primary field, which includes Trump, who is widely considered the likely GOP nominee. Also in the race are former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, popular conservative Larry Elder, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.

During an interview with Inforum published last month, Burgum said he understands the challenges facing a North Dakotan candidate and argued he will have to overcome a rural-state bias.

“There is a geographical bigotry that exists,” Burgum said.

“There’s a value to being underestimated all the time,” Burgum added, noting that he had zero endorsements in his first race. “That’s a competitive advantage.”

Burgum said he thinks more than half of Americans make up an exhausted “silent majority” who are “yearning for some alternatives right now.”