BISMARCK—Today, Friday, Dec. 17, North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem announced he will not seek re-election in 2022. This will likely mark the end of a lifelong period of public service.
By the end of his term, Stenehjem will have served as the state’s Attorney General for 22 years, a tenure longer than his three predecessors combined. He has been the longest serving Attorney General in North Dakota history. Before that he served for a combined 24 years in the North Dakota House and Senate.
In his press release, Stenehjem wrote, “I have had to make many difficult decisions in that time, but never one as difficult as this one.” Stenehjem continued, “I hope North Dakotans will respect my work, my steadfast support of the U.S. and State Constitutions, the rule of law, and efforts to keep North Dakota the best and safest place to live and work.”
“I hope North Dakotans will respect my work, my steadfast support of the U.S. and State Constitutions, the rule of law, and efforts to keep North Dakota the best and safest place to live and work.” Wayne Stenehjem, North Dakota Attorney General
Upon Stenehjem’s announcement, Governor Doug Burgum released his own statement. “As the state’s top law enforcement officer for more than 20 years, Wayne’s chief concern has always been the safety and well-being of North Dakota citizens, and our state is a better place because of his devoted service.” Gov. Burgum continued, “We very much look forward to partnering with him on important initiatives during his remaining time in office to keep our state moving forward.”
Stenehjem’s lone bid for governor in 2016 was derailed by Burgum when he defeated Stenehjem in the primary election that summer. Stenehjem had previously won the Republican endorsement for governor at the NDGOP convention earlier that spring.