The 411 on this weekend’s GOP convention

BISMARCK  – More than 1,900 members of the North Dakota Republican Party are expected to gather this weekend in Bismarck to endorse candidates in state and federal races.

Here are some details on what to watch for:

(A detailed schedule is available online.)

  • Friday: Procedural committee and legislative caucus meetings
  • Saturday: Keynote speech from South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem. Endorsements for U.S. Senate, insurance commissioner, governor and lieutenant governor, public service commission, auditor, treasurer and superintendent of public instruction.
  • Sunday: Endorsement for U.S. House and election of presidential electors.


  • U.S. Senate*: Rick Berg
  • Lieutenant governor: Drew Wrigley. (Sorum had not announced his running mate as of Thursday.)
*U.S. Senate candidate Duane Sand and U.S. House candidate Kevin Cramer aren’t seeking the GOP’s endorsement and instead plan to compete in the June primary.


With four of eight races drawing more than one Republican candidate this year, state party leaders say delegates will cast paper ballots to determine the contested nominations.

A candidate must receive a 50 percent majority in order to secure the endorsement.

With two GOP candidates each in the races governor, lieutenant governor, public service commissioner and superintendent of public instruction, only one ballot will need to be cast in those races.

For the U.S. House race, where five of six candidates are seeking the endorsement, delegates might cast as many as six ballots before the party’s candidate is chosen.

The GOP’s official rules dictate three ballots must be cast before any candidate is forcibly removed from the ballot.

On the fourth ballot, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is dropped off, and the pattern continues until only two candidates are left on the sixth and final ballot. The victor of that face-off will win the endorsement.

Six ballots might not be necessary if candidates choose to concede the endorsement earlier in the balloting process.


Stay tuned to “Flickertales” throughout the weekend for stories from the GOP convention in Bismarck.

Also, follow me on Twitter – @kristendaum – for live updates Saturday and Sunday and join the conversation by using #ndgop2012.