Powerful Republican lawmaker targeted by Burgum chosen by GOP to fill dead candidate’s seat

State News

FILE – In this Jan. 4, 2017, file photo, North Dakota House appropriations chairman Rep. Jeff Delzer, R-Underwood, answer questions at a revenue forecast meeting in Bismarck, N.D., Republican North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is helping bankroll a political action campaign that so far has set its sights on defeating one of the most powerful members of the Legislature and a member of his own party, Delzer. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A powerful Republican North Dakota lawmaker who lost his seat after being targeted by Gov. Doug Burgum has been chosen by party activists to return to his old seat to replace a candidate who died before the election.

Rep. Jeff Delzer was named by Republican district activists at a nominating convention Wednesday night to succeed David Andahl, who died Oct. 5 from coronavirus complications.

Exactly who takes Andahl’s seat is now the focus of a legal battle.

Burgum appointed coal company executive Wade Boeshans to the seat, to which Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said Burgum’s appointment is sidestepping the statutory process.

On Tuesday, the Democratic-NPL filed a motion to intervene in Friday’s Supreme Court proceedings, saying they believe they believe Kathrin Volochenko, who received the next highest number of votes among qualified candidates for the second District 8 House seat, should be seated.

The hearing on the matter is scheduled for Friday at 9 a.m.

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