Thousands from across the state gathered at the Bismarck Event Center this weekend for the ND GOP State Convention.

All eyes were on the contest between Sen. John Hoeven and Rick Becker for the convention’s endorsement for U.S. Senate.

The State Committee gaveled in and the convention started with the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, and prayer before it then took a 45-minute recess to count the exact number of delegates.

When the delegates returned from lunch, it was announced that the party had certified 2,321 delegates, making it the largest Republican convention in North Dakota history.

Then an inner-party fight ensued over who was going to be the convention chair.

Former ND GOP Convention Chair Gary Emineth got nominated from the floor to replace Perrie Schafer who was already selected by the committee.

The push to make Emineth chair would have worked for the benefit of Becker, and the faction was expected to change election rules so that the convention would have become the nominating process over the June primary.

At one point, U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer spoke from the floor not only endorsing Schafer but also calling on the delegates to unify behind their common enemy, Democrats.

That didn’t happen and Schafer kept his leadership position.

The endorsement vote for U.S. Senate was supposed to happen around 1 pm, but because of the inner-party fighting, it took place at 5 pm.

At the end of the day, Hoeven narrowly won the Convention endorsement with 1,224 votes over Becker’s 1,037.

Becker gave his concession speech and promised that he will not run in the June primary.