AMAC Magazine - Volume 17 / Issue 6 - NOV/DEC 2023

Thus far, Burgum’s campaign has centered around three key issues: the economy, energy, and national security. Unlike many others in the race, he has largely steered clear of hot-button culture war issues, instead insisting that his three issues of choice will, according to his campaign, “unlock the best of America and improve every American life.” At the first primary debate, Burgum characterized America’s tensions with China as “the number one issue we’re facing,” going on to say that “the way you actually have peace through strength is that you actually have strength  you actually have deterrence.” Though Burgum has been reliably socially conservative in his role as governor, he has remained largely hesitant to tout his state-level policy blueprints on abortion, gender ideology, and immigration. In the spring, Burgum signed a near-total ban on abortion in North Dakota  granting exceptions only for rape and incest in the first six months of pregnancy. He has also clamped down on transgender surgeries for children, but has failed to call for a similar ban at the federal level. Also notable about Burgum’s campaign is his refusal to discuss both the indictments against President Trump and the Biden impeachment inquiries  at times becoming visibly agitated when asked about them. “We’re at a position today where when we’re out talking to voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, they’re not asking about the indictments… but what they are asking about is inflation,” Burgum said in an August interview. While his hesitancy to lean into social issues may cost him some conservative votes come 2024, Burgum’s political career will remind voters that  even though the media may be quick to overlook him  he is nonetheless an impressive and accom- plished leader, as well as a successful businessman, who cannot be written off as an unserious candidate.

W hen North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum announced his longshot candidacy for the presidency in June, he had little name recognition and far less national conservative bona fides than most of his rivals. In the months since, however, Burgum has won the attention of the national media, primetime audiences, and conservative voters  bring- ing his self-proclaimed small-town values and pro-America economic blueprint to the national political stage. First elected in 2016 and reelected by a wide margin in 2020, Burgum is no stranger to being the underdog. When he announced his 2016 gubernatorial campaign, he trailed his near- est competitor by nearly 50 percent and finished dead last at the Republican state convention. But Burgum then went on to win the Republican primary and secured over 75 percent of the vote in the general election. Since then, Burgum has established a strong conservative resume  and apparently hopes he can repeat his 2016 magic at the national level. Governor doug burgum

Did you know? Burgum supports increasing fund- ing for addiction treatment. See our comparison chart on page 42 for more! Next: President Joe Biden on page 38

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