Published January 18, 2022

ND Young Republicans Gather in Bismarck for Convention

Written by
Gwendolyn Rappuhn
| The Dakotan
Keynote Speaker Representative Jeff Magrum, R-Dis. 28, Hazelton [Photo: Gwendolyn Rappuhn]
Keynote Speaker Representative Jeff Magrum, R-Dis. 28, Hazelton [Photo: Gwendolyn Rappuhn]

BISMARCK—North Dakota Young Republicans (NDYR) from across the state gathered at Capitol Heights Baptist Church in Bismarck on Saturday, Jan. 15 for their annual convention.  

Informal business included a lineup of speakers ranging from state elected Republicans to Young Republican National Federation representatives to Young Republican candidates running in North Dakota, while official NDYR business included the organization's yearly reports, several bylaw changes, and the passage of two resolutions.  

Keynote speaker Representative Jeff Magrum, R-Dis. 28, Hazelton, focused on the importance of staying committed to Republican principles and stressed that while making the right decision always has consequences, making the wrong decision also always has consequences. 

Special guest NDGOP National Committeewoman Lori Hinz gave a brief overview of her work on a temporary committee on election integrity. “We found that Americans want common sense; we want very common-sense election reforms that make it easier to vote and harder to cheat. That is the bottom line,” Hinz said. 

Andrew “Kord” Kordonowy, Dickinson, a Young Republican candidate running for the senate seat in District 39, said of the NDYR, “We’re not politically correct, because we are correct politically. We live the Republican values, the platform.”  Of himself, he said, “One of the main things I have is my will to fight. I’ll never give up - I will not bend on my values - on our shared values.”  

Following the special speakers were the executive committee reports and the region reports; after which the members discussed and voted on several bylaw changes. Next on the agenda were the two resolutions: one “affirming free speech with emphasis on educational environments,” and one “recognizing parents as the chief stakeholders of the future and education of their children,” which both passed unanimously.  

Casandra Merritt traveled from Sawyer to attend the event, “It’s interesting how it all works. I’m learning more and more about how it works - politics, and how people get elected and how long they stay in.”  

Merritt went on to share some of her thoughts on young people in politics, “It makes sense that younger people would be the ones mostly getting involved now, because I’ve had older people come up to me and say, ‘Well, I’m sure lucky that I’m not you, because the future doesn’t look so great, as far as the politics are going, and the way the country is going.’ Well, that’s nice… the younger generation should be the ones that care the most about preserving our freedoms, because we’re the ones living to see the most of it.” 

Gideon Blazek, Wyndmere, shared how he became interested in politics and the NDYR organization, “Kind of how I grew up - involvement in political action. I was a page at the North Dakota State Convention, then in high school I got involved with Generation Joshua and did a lot of canvassing - Virginia, Missouri, Michigan.” 

The evening concluded with a round of English Country Line Dancing called by NDYR Vice Chair Trustyn Karges.  


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