Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) — North Dakota’s sole congressman in the House — launched a bid for the state’s governorship Tuesday, one day after Gov. Doug Burgum (R) announced he would not seek a third term as governor.
Armstrong’s announcement marks the first formal declaration in what’s expected to be a competitive race among Republicans for the party’s gubernatorial nomination.
In a statement Tuesday, the North Dakota Republican touted his past five years of work in the House and how this will carry over if elected to lead the Peace Garden State.
“There’s one thing I’ve learned in that time, the solutions to our biggest challenges are not going to come from Washington,” Armstrong said. “North Dakotans will always do better when we are in charge of our destiny. That’s why I’ve decided to come home to run for Governor.”
“I’ll take the experience I’ve gained fighting for North Dakota in DC, to help increase opportune city and success here in our state,” he continued. “And I am excited to get back here and work with people who are interested in finding solutions not exploiting problems for political gain.”
Armstrong’s office confirmed to The Hill he will not seek another term in the House but intends to continue serving in the seat while pursuing the governorship.
Former state Rep. Rick Becker and Democrat Trygve Hammer, a military veteran, previously announced bids for the House seat.
Armstrong, 47, was first elected to the House in 2018 after serving six years in the state Senate and as chair of the North Dakota Republican Party.
He easily won reelection in 2022 to represent North Dakota’s at-large district, garnering more than 62 percent of the vote against independent Cara Mund, an attorney and former Miss America, per The Associated Press.
The launch follows Burgum’s Monday announcement, in which he confirmed he will not seek reelection this year after two terms as governor. Burgum, who launched a failed presidential bid last year, did not specify what his next steps would be professionally or whether he would retire from public life.
North Dakota’s at-large district is solidly Republican, and the nonpartisan Cook Political Report labels the district as R+20.