Published February 6, 2024

Coachman running for governor as independent

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The Dakotan
| The Dakotan

BY: MARY STEURER - FEBRUARY 6, 2024 (North Dakota Monitor)

Michael Coachman, a U.S. Air Force veteran and returning candidate for state office, announced Tuesday he is running for governor as an independent.

“As Governor I will change the focus of North Dakota’s political objectives by becoming a state focused on restoring individual liberties in all aspects of life, family and business for the citizens of North Dakota,” Coachman said in his announcement. He added that, if elected, he would use the state and federal constitutions and the Bible to guide his decision making. 

Coachman — whose politics tend to fall in the far-right camp — is no stranger to the ballot. He ran for governor against Gov. Doug Burgum in the 2020 Republican primary, earning roughly 10% of the vote. He also ran for lieutenant governor in 2012 and 2016, and secretary of state in 2018. All of his previous bids for election at the state level have been unsuccessful.

A list of his plans for office featured in the Tuesday announcement included:

  • Eliminating two or three laws on the books for every law signed, and preventing any new legislation from being longer than three pages.
  • Banning people in foreign countries from owning land in North Dakota.
  • Replacing property and state income tax with one “flat” tax.

Coachman holds bachelor’s degrees in management, marketing and human resources, and previously served on the Larimore City Council, according to the announcement.

He is the third person to join the race for the highest state office, joining Republican U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong and Democrat Travis Hipsher, a security guard who lives in Neche. Burgum announced in January he won’t be seeking a third term.

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