North Dakota’s Al Jaeger Will Not Seek Re-Election

[Image via westfargopioneer]

North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger will not seek re-election, ending over two decades as the state’s top election official, after his party endorsed another candidate for this fall’s statewide general election. WDAY-TV has more:

The North Dakota secretary of state will not run seek re-election after his party endorsed another, setting the stage to end his 25-year career and opening up the race for a new state elections head.

Al Jaeger waved to a cheering crowd with his family Sunday at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks as state GOP Chairman Rick Berg announced the secretary of state would abide by the decision of the delegates, who endorsed on Saturday Mandan businessman Will Gardner with a vote of 679-438…

Jaeger first was elected to the office in 1992 and is one of the longest-serving elected officials currently in office. Gardner, who made a successful motion to honor Jaeger, said the secretary of state’s move to not seek re-election shows Jaeger’s character and respect for the party.

“It spoke volumes about what I already know about him of who he is,” Gardner told the [Grand Forks] Herald in a phone interview after the convention as he praised Jaeger.

Jaeger’s announcement signals the end of a lengthy career as Secretary of State, during which he was proud (and fiercely protective) of North Dakota’s lack of voter registration requirement. [Indeed, you could always expect a letter or an email if you wrote a voter registration story or report and neglected to cite the Peace Garden State’s special status.] He has been a fixture at the National Association of Secretaries of State, where he has been the long-running chair of the NASS Committee on Awards.

Secretary Jaeger’s announcement sets up a race in the fall between the GOP’s Gardner, Democratic state legislator Joshua Boschee and Roland Riemers, a Grand Forks Libertarian. It should be an interesting race as the candidates debate Jaeger’s legacy and the future of elections in North Dakota. Stay tuned …

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