As North Dakota’s Republicans move closer to the NDGOP State Convention in Grand Forks April 6th – 8th, District 36 State Senator and U.S. House candidate Kelly Armstrong continues to pick up steam for his campaign. According to a letter posted to Armstrong’s campaign page, he has picked up the endorsement of 72% (34 out of 47) of the NDGOP’s District Chairs.
Considering the fact that District Chairs are elected to their positions by the party faithful, this is a good sign for Armstrong heading into the convention. Those same party faithful, who elect their District Chairs, are typically the same people who become delegates to the State Convention.
As for the 13 that didn’t give an official endorsement of Armstrong, I’m told it was for a variety of reasons. Those reasons included commitments to Tom Campbell and a self-imposed policy of not endorsing candidates. I can assure you there are names among the 13 that do indeed plan on supporting Armstrong.
This news doesn’t bode well for Armstrong’s opposition– DuWayne Hendrickson, Paul Schaffner, Tiffany Abentroth, and Tom Campbell. It’s widely believed that Campbell is Armstrong’s toughest competition. But things haven’t gone particularly well for him. Aside from a less than conservative voting record – that was intentionally removed from his Facebook page – we were the first to write about the questionable ethics of his campaign in relation to delegates. Since then, Say Anything Blog has picked up on it as well.
One issue that Armstrong may want to address is the recent – and atrocious – omnibus bill. I know delegates to the convention that are not only dissatisfied with the bill, but say that they’re leaning towards voting for DuWayne Hendrickson if assurances aren’t made that Armstrong would’ve opposed it. In a nutshell, I’m being told that they’re willing to cast a vote to send a message that they don’t want more of the same in Washington.
Armstrong has committed to honoring the outcome of the convention– something I’m told Campbell won’t do. But considering the fact that he garnered the support of 72% of the NDGOP’s District Chairs, in addition to raising a quarter of a million dollars the first two weeks of his campaign, things are looking pretty good for him. The State Convention may just end up being a precursor to a June Primary.