Kelly Armstrong defeated three primary challengers in the North Dakota gubernatorial election, solidifying his House run against Democrat Mac Schneider.
Armstrong claimed victory with 54 percent of the vote with 9.4 percent of precincts reporting at 9:25 p.m. eastern late Tuesday evening, Politico reports. He beat Tiffany Abentroth and Paul Schaffner handily, with each defeated opponent claiming around 7 percent of the vote when the race was called.
Armstrong’s toughest opponent was Tom Campbell, a sitting U.S. senator of North Dakota, who held roughly 30 percent of the vote when Armstrong won. Campbell had dropped out of the House race April 11, but his name remained on the ballot.
Armstrong is a local politician elected to the state Senate in 2012. He also chairs the Republican Party of North Dakota. He has an early advantage in a state that voted 64 percent for President Donald Trump.
Schneider, Armstrong’s opponent in the general, is a moderate Democrat who also served in the state Senate as minority leader until he lost a reelection campaign 2016. Schneider’s run at the U.S. House is a chance to restart his political career.
Schneider picked up the Democratic nomination unopposed Tuesday running as a moderate Democrat willing to work with Trump on certain issues such as rolling back “burdensome regulations.”
Armstrong has distanced himself somewhat from the president, saying his loyalty lies with North Dakotans and the Constitution, rather than the Trump agenda.
Armstrong and Schneider are running to replace GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer, who is leaving his seat to compete against North Dakota Democrat Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. (RELATED: GOP Now Have A Golden Opportunity In North Dakota To Unseat Democrat Sen Heitkamp)
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