In a heated GOP primary, former Miss America seeks North Dakota's sole U.S. House seat.

BISMARCK — North Dakota Republican primary voters will have a variety of contenders for the state's single U.S. House seat, from unknown to former Miss America.  

The June 11 primary candidate filing deadline was Monday. The state's lone congressman and lieutenant governor will face off in a Republican primary this year after North Dakotans elect a new governor and representative. Democrats have not won a statewide election since 2012, and Republicans hold all statewide and congressional seats.  

After weekend Republican and Democratic supporting conferences, election officials accepted candidate filings all day Monday. After a heated endorsement process and Monday's admission of former Miss America 2018 Cara Mund, an attorney who unsuccessfully campaigned for the seat as an independent in 2022, the packed Republican House race is primed for an active campaign season  

Other GOP candidates include war veteran and former State Department employee Alex Balazs, former state Rep. Rick Becker, Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak, and Sharlet Mohr, a little-known candidate who did not return a phone call.  

Balazs has the support of the state Republican Party, while Fedorchak, who has been in government for almost a decade, and Mund, whose pageant success made her state proud, are more well-known.  

Mund says she's racing again because the race had no moderates. Abortion rights dominated her 2022 campaign. “Limited government is my philosophy. I don't think they should control women," she told reporters Monday.  

Mund agreed with her opponents that securing the U.S. southern border is crucial. When asked if she supported former President Donald Trump, she worried about the Republican Party's singular focus. “I support law and order as a lawyer,” she stated. “If proven guilty, that is a court ruling.”  

She's running as a Republican, not an independent, to offer North Dakotans a bigger voice in Congress, “not just a puppet sitting in that seat.” Republican Rep. Kelly Armstrong is running for governor, opening the at-large seat. The primary pits Armstrong against Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller. Governor Doug Burgum will not run again. Republican governors have served since 1992.  

Democratic state Sen. Merrill Piepkorn and frequent contender Michael Coachman are also running for governor. Last weekend, Democrats endorsed military veteran Trygve Hammer for House. The Democratic primary will feature Roland Riemers, a regular opponent. According to party spokesperson Laura Dronen, Democrats excluded treasurer and insurance commissioner candidates from their statewide ticket.  

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