BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — District 7 Representative Rick Becker plans to run for the U.S. Senate as an Independent candidate.

Becker says he will circulate a petition to gather the 1,000 signatures needed to have his name placed on the November General Election ballot.

He will be running against Democrat Katrina Christiansen and incumbent Republican John Hoeven.

Becker lost to Hoeven in his bid for the state Republican Party endorsement for the senate during the party’s convention in April.

Becker noted, “I have spent the last 10 years helping make the party stronger by pushing it to stand by its stated conservative principles. I am not breaking with the party, rather I am continuing to hold it accountable.”

Becker was elected to the North Dakota State House in 2012, and re-elected in 2014 and 2018. He is considered one of the leading conservative voices in the state legislature.

“Voters will now have a real choice. Voters should not be forced to choose between a big-spending Democrat and a big-spending Republican,” Becker said.

Recently, Bismarck native and former Miss America Cara Mund announced her plans to run as an Independent for North Dakota’s lone U.S. House seat.