North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is set to join the growing field of Republicans seeking the party’s 2024 presidential nomination.
A person familiar with his plans said Burgum, a wealthy software entrepreneur, is expected to launch his campaign during a June 7 event. The individual spoke on the condition of anonymity ahead of the official announcement. The Wall Street Journal first reported on Burgum’s plans.
Burgum, 66, has served as North Dakota governor since 2016. Over the last few months, he’s been signaling a potential presidential run. In March, he traveled to Iowa to address Story County Republicans and has, over the last few weeks, been filming television ads for a potential presidential bid.
Burgum has not established much of a national political footprint and would be a long-shot in a GOP primary field dominated by former president Donald Trump and the latest candidate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
A North Dakota native who grew up in Arthur, a town of some 300 people where his family had a grain elevator business, Burgum ran for governor on a platform of fiscal conservatism, promising to curb “runaway spending” and restore the state’s economy, which was struggling because of low energy and farm commodity prices. His tagline in that race was “a new leader for a changing economy.”
Burgum has embraced some staunchly conservative policies, including signing a near-total ban on abortion in his state this year. Burgum has also signed legislation that bans providing gender-affirming care to minors and a bill that bars public schools and government entities from requiring teachers and employees to use a transgender person’s pronouns.
At the same time, he has raised concern about the nation’s political polarization, arguing that 60 percent of Americans are a “silent majority” who are not being represented in the political debate.
“All the engagement right now is occurring on the edge,” Burgum told the Forum editorial board. “There’s definitely a yearning for some alternatives right now.”
Before entering politics, Burgum was an entrepreneur who started a chimney sweeping business and helped build Great Plains Software — mortgaging part of the farmland that his father had left him to invest $250,000 in the company. He led Great Plains Software until it was acquired by Microsoft for $1.1 billion in 2001, and he remained at Microsoft as senior vice president until 2007. At the time he stepped down to run for governor, Burgum was chairman of Atlassian, a software company based in Australia.