BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A former North Dakota lawmaker is running for the state’s only seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Republican Rick Becker, a plastic surgeon in Bismarck, announced his campaign on Monday. He received over 18% of the statewide vote in his unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid in 2022, when he ran as an independent against Republican Sen. John Hoeven, who won, and Democrat Katrina Christiansen, who is running for Senate again this year.
Republican U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong, an attorney and former state senator, said earlier this month that he is running for reelection to the seat he first won in 2018. Democrat Trygve Hammer, a military veteran, also is running.
Becker said in an interview that he considers Armstrong a friend.
“It’s not so much a matter that I’m interested in tearing him down, it’s simply I present an option for voters," Becker said. "I think that we are at a point in time in which people are really looking for someone to be bold and to fight and to take on what I call the progressive, woke agenda.”
Becker served from 2012−22 in the state House, where he founded the ultraconservative Bastiat Caucus, a Trump−aligned group of Republican lawmakers who support more gun rights and tighter budgets. He unsuccessfully sought the Republican endorsement for governor in 2016.
Becker also is leading a proposed 2024 ballot initiative to eliminate local property taxes.
The Associated Press