North Dakota (KXNET) — After yesterday’s election, Republicans now have a 90% majority in both chambers, Republicans control the executive branch of state government, and every member of the congressional delegation is a Republican.

Josh Meny convened a post-election focus group of North Dakotans with differing political viewpoints to discuss why it seems there is so little competition in ND politics.

Josh’s questions and statements are labeled in italics.

All politics is national. Remember, we passed a law about critical race theory. But the major issues on the national front by and large are not in North Dakota. Does the DemNPL need to take on the national brand to make sense, or is it vice versa: should the DemNPL let go of some of the national issues?

“Well, I think one challenge that we have is really telling the story of our local elected officials. Last night at the election watch party, I got to introduce Josh Boshee out of Fargo, North Dakota and I brought up House Bill 15-09 where he introduced tax credit for young farmers. I think that’s a really great example of our local leaders from an urban area representing people outside of his district. Nationally, you would have heard that the Democrats have walked away from rural North Dakota. But locally, we still haven’t we have our own Alisa Mitskog down in Whapeton representing landowners out in western North Dakota. So as a caucus, I think we really need to tell our stories and how we’re fighting to really put common sense proposals forward to affect all North Dakotans not just the district, and not just one side of the party,” explained DemNPL Chair Patrick Hart.

“We have two parties, their job is to nominate the two most qualified people and put it to the people to vote. Now in a place like North Dakota, the Democratic, the more progressive/liberal person is still going to be fairly conservative on a national scale. They’re just going to be a little bit more progressive or liberal compared to the other party. And so I think, I think we get a little bit caught up in the national politics and we paint everybody with that same brush. And so I think the challenge for the Democrats right now is to really make it about those local issues on the actual candidates and to do what they can do to bring those issues out in a discussion. Because they are probably going to continue to lose on that national level with that national branding,” explained Bismarck architect David Witham who identifies as an Independent.

Matthew, you’re with the North Dakota Young Republicans. It was a successful night for your party. What do you see your party doing to continue its success?

“Well, I think they’re definitely going to keep focusing on Fargo for sure. You know, obviously didn’t turn out well for Carter Eisinger and Brad Leeser both lost in their district but up in Grand Forks, you got a split ticket. They took the Senate with Jeff Barta. And then Zachary Ista beat Marry Adams. Mary Adams last. So it is a very interesting dynamic in Grand Forks going on right now. I’ve seen it turn more red as time goes on. But it’s interesting, what’s going to happen with Fargo. And then Ruth Buffalo lost as well. So I think the real focus is to just keep going at Fargo as much as they can,” explained North Dakota Young Republican Matthew Heilman.

Matthew Heilman won the race for District 7 House on election day 2022.

Amelia, you ran as a Democrat for the state senate in 2020. You had a really close race last night for Burleigh County Commissioner. First of all, how are you feeling?

“Well, I mean, you’ve run a race and you’re disappointed. But I think for a young female on the ballot for the first time in the county election, I did pretty well. It was less than 1000 votes split between the bottom three. And then the fifth one had 5000 less. I would love to be preparing to be sworn in in December. But all things considered, it was a great race. I got to meet some great people and really learned a lot. I had a friend come up to me last night at our watch party after you know, the results came in and she said, Thank you for running. I’m so glad that my girls have someone to look up to. And I think when we take a step back from politics, whether you’re a blue democrat or red republican at the end of the day, what we need to be doing is showing our youth whether they’re male, female, come from Republican or Democrat household that politics is a place for them. You don’t need to have a special name. You don’t need to have a lot of money. You can impact change on the local level, regardless of your party affiliation,” explained Democrat and former candidate for Burleigh County Commission Amelia Doll.

Heilman tells KX News that Tuesday was a good night for the North Dakota Young Republicans. 5 of their endorsed candidates, including Heilman, won offices in the state legislature, and another Young Republican elected Burleigh County Auditor.