BISMARCK—Representative Rick Becker, R-District 7, has announced he intends to gather the 1,000 signatures necessary to have his name placed on the November 2022 ballot as an independent candidate. Dr. Becker will compete against Democrat Katrina Christiansen, and incumbent Republican John Hoeven.
At the NDGOP state convention in April, Becker received 1,037 delegate votes to Hoeven’s 1,224. Having lost the party’s endorsement at the NDGOP state convention in April, Becker said he had no intention of challenging Hoeven in the June primary. He felt it was important to support the party’s choice.
But in the several weeks since the convention, Becker has received numerous calls from people urging him to run. The decision to run as an independent candidate was not an easy one.
“I have spent the last 10 years helping make the party stronger by pushing it to stand by its stated conservative principles.” Becker said. “I am not breaking with the party, rather I am continuing to hold it accountable.”
Becker adds, “There is a growing sentiment right now of people fed up with the status quo. Right now North Dakotans are forced to vote between big-spending Republicans and big-spending Democrats. The least I can do is offer voters a real choice of candidates.”
In order to qualify for the November 7 ballot, Becker must get 1000 signatures by September 6.
Becker will be personally gather signatures as he travels to communities throughout the state over the next two weeks.
“The purpose of the tour is two-fold. First I want to give everyone a chance to meet the candidate and discuss the issues. And, of course, I’ll be getting signatures everywhere I go.” Becker explained.
Historically, independent candidates have had little success going against candidates who are backed by the two major parties. But this doesn’t faze Becker, who says “It doesn’t matter if I win or I lose, it’s the right thing to do. North Dakota voters deserve to have a better choice of candidates.”
Becker expects criticism for seeking office outside of the GOP umbrella. But he says that doesn’t bother him. “I don’t feel compelled to answer personal attacks. But if anyone wants to criticize my voting record or my policies, I am happy to engage in the debate.”
The Dem-NPL US Senate candidate, Katrina Christiansen says she is happy to see Becker enter the race.
“I look forward to his entrance into the race. It only amplifies the myth of John Hoeven. It indicates how weak Hoeven is,” Christiansen said. “You know exactly what you’re getting with Becker. He represents the thoughtless, knee-jerk wing of the Republican party. But with Hoeven, we never know what we’re getting. He is a weathervane waiting for his orders or a sense of popularity.”
Hoeven’s office responded to the news of Becker’s candidacy saying “This doesn’t change the way that we are going to run this campaign. Senator Hoeven has always focused on doing the things that best serve North Dakota and our country. Our campaign will focus on Senator Hoeven’s accomplishments during his time in the Senate.”