Last week we published an article explaining that a source close to NDGOP Chairman and State Senator Kelly Armstrong had confirmed that he was considering a run at U.S. House. This afternoon – within minutes of it being sent – we were notified that not only had Armstrong resigned his post as Chairman of the NDGOP, in an e-mail sent to party leadership, through NDGOP Executive Director Dane Ferguson, but that he had announced his intentions to run for U.S. House as well:
This letter serves as my official resignation as Chairman of the NDGOP. Over the last three years I have had the distinct pleasure of working with all of you to further Republican causes, and together in 2016 we helped guide the party through one of the most historic elections in our history. With Kevin Cramer announcing his decision to run for the US Senate seat this election cycle, we have an even better opportunity to knock off Senator Heitkamp. This race is going to be one for the ages and I am as excited to be a Republican as I have ever been.
This morning I filed paperwork with the FEC and it is my intention to run for the US House seat this cycle–so you will all still get to see plenty of me in the upcoming months. I know that you will all continue to build on the success we have created over the last several years. In fact my only regret in this decision is that I will no longer get to coach the greatest group of grass roots volunteers in the history of the NDGOP. It has been an honor to serve with you all and I look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail.
(former) Chairman, NDGOP
This isn’t really surprising. A search with the Federal Election Commission earlier today showed that Armstrong had filed his “Armstrong for Congress” Statement of Candidacy.
Armstrong is currently the fifth candidate for U.S. House. After Congressman Kevin Cramer announced for the U.S. Senate, State Senator Tom Campbell switched his campaign to the House side. Paul Schaffner – who had originally announced for the U.S. Senate – also switched his campaign to the House last week at a district convention. DuWayne Hendrickson and Tiffany Abentroth round out the field.
It remains to be seen what kind of campaign Armstrong will run. I spoke with Rep. Luke Simons (R – District 36) – who is from the same legislative district as the now former NDGOP Chairman – and he told me, “If you’re with Kelly Armstrong and a group of people, I can guarantee you he’s the smartest person in the room.”
Given his experience as NDGOP Chairman and a State Senator, I’m guessing Armstrong will be a strong contender. It should make for a fascinating Republican State Convention in April.