Oban says she won’t run for re-election, citing ‘extreme rhetoric and divisiveness’

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Bismarck State Senator Erin Oban says she won’t run for re-election in 2022, primarily because of what she sees as negative changes in North Dakota’s political climate.

In a lengthy post to her Facebook page, the District 35 Democrat senator said when she ran for office in 2014, she hoped to use, “my combination of head and heart, of love and logic to represent the people of District 35.”

“But in recent years, everything, it seems, including politics, has gotten increasingly polarizing and way too personal,” Oban wrote. “It’s obvious that the extreme rhetoric and divisiveness of the national scene have seeped into our state. … The depth of our debates has diminished. The issues we argue are, oftentimes, inconsequential. Logic and reason are being replaced by conspiracy and posturing, and my patience for it in general, especially within those beautiful walls of the Senate, has worn thin.”

Oban said she was also disheartened by colleagues who are, “too intimidated, too quiet, too complacent, too frustrated or, understandably, too busy to ensure that their voices are also considered.”

As a result, Oban wrote, “I have thought long and hard about what’s happening around us, and as much as I love the legislative process and take seriously the responsibilities with which I’ve been entrusted, I will not seek re-election in 2022 when my term expires.”

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