Burgum asks for outside counsel on legislative appointment

State News

FILE – In this April 10, 2020, file photo, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks at the state Capitol in Bismarck, N.D. Burgum will face Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shelley Lenz in the Nov. 3, general election. (Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Gov. Doug Burgum is asking the state’s attorney general to appoint outside lawyers to handle a possible lawsuit over the governor’s appointment to fill a legislative seat that was won by a candidate who died before the election.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is at odds with Burgum over the appointment of Washburn coal executive Wade Boeshans to the District 8 seat won by David Andahl, who died Oct. 5 from coronavirus complications.

Stenehjem says the legislative branch, not the executive branch, has the authority to fill the vacancy.

Burgum has asked Stenehjem to appoint three attorneys with Vogel Law Firm in Bismarck to represent him “on legal matters” related to the appointment.

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