Election Day is November 6, 2018.

As public professionals, you play a vital role in shaping and influencing policies affecting your practice and expertise. Every decision made affecting classrooms, public schools and universities, and public service is at some level a political decision.

Because of the important roles that elected officials play in our members’ professional lives, North Dakota United  takes a very deliberate, measured approach to making recommendations for elections. Decisions are made in a non-partisan fashion, supporting candidates based on their stances on issues that our association cares deeply about, and not their political affiliation.

How does NDU Recommend Candidates?

NDU members choose candidates to recommend based on information collected through voting records, candidate surveys, and in-person interviews. The following is a step-by-step process on how NDU makes its recommendations.

North Dakota Legislative Recommendations:

Candidates for office can receive the endorsement of North Dakota United  and the ND United Political Committee (UPAC) by one of two ways:

  1. Incumbents with a proven record in office of voting in line with NDU values receive a performance recommendation.
  2. Candidates for office, or incumbents without a performance recommendation, are given a survey to fill out. These candidates provide written answers to a series of questions about public education and employee rights.

UPAC members use this information to made recommendations to the UPAC and the NDU Board for approval.

North Dakota Statewide Recommendations:

Candidates for state offices of interest to NDU are asked to attend an interview with UPAC members. We use questionnaire and interview information to recommend the candidates who best support our beliefs and interests, regardless of their political party. In addition to the comments made during the interview, the UPAC members discuss evidence of support (relationship with association, past voting records) to made recommendations to the UPAC and the NDU Board for approval.

North Dakota Congressional Recommendations:

Congressional candidates are asked to attend an interview with UPAC members. We use a list of questions developed by members based on federal issues adopted by the NEA and AFT conventions. In addition to the comments made during the interview, the UPAC members discuss evidence of support (relationship with association, past voting records) to made recommendations to the UPAC and the NDU Board. If the recommendations are accepted by the UPAC and NDU Board, they are then forwarded to the NEA Fund’s Council and the AFT Executive Committee for approval.

The general election is November 6. As you consider your ballot, please check out the pro-education, pro-public service candidates who have been endorsed by UPAC.



Heidi Heitkamp for United States Senate

“Serving the people of North Dakota has been the greatest honor of my life. Being re-elected to serve you in the senate would allow me to build on the work I’ve done during my first term to ensure that North Dakota continues to be a place where working families can succeed and thrive,” said ND United-recommended candidate for U.S. Senate Heidi Heitkamp. “North Dakotans deserve a senator who wakes up every morning thinking about them and their needs and concerns and not about loyalty to a political party or a president. Washington has too many hard liners and too few people thinking about the people they represent. I’m proud to say I only answer to North Dakotans and hope that, with your support, I can continue to do so in a second term in the United States Senate.

“North Dakota public employees and educators are some of the hardest-working people in our state. Having your support, and the support of your union, affirms my commitment to fighting for a strong, and appropriately funded, K-12 and higher education system, and policies that ensure our state’s educators and public employees can count on a secure retirement, strong family leave policies and a safe work environment,” Heitkamp said. “The work you do, day in and day out, is what makes our state such a special place to live, work and raise a family. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your support and for standing shoulder to shoulder with me to make sure working folks in North Dakota have a strong advocate in Washington.”


Mac Schneider for United States House of Representatives

“I’m running for Congress to be an effective advocate for our state and the kind of lawmaker who will reach across the aisle to move our country forward,” said Mac Schneider, ND United-recommended candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. “North Dakota and our country would be best served by a focus on kitchen table issues like jobs, education, and balancing the budget rather than the partisan game-playing that’s all too common in Washington. North Dakotans work hard and work together to face down challenges. Congress should too. I’ll work with anyone – Democrat or Republican – to advance the best interests of our state and country.

“As a product of North Dakota’s education system from grade school through college at the University of North Dakota, I couldn’t have more respect for educators and public employees. To receive NDU’s support is a real honor,” Schneider said. “This month, I’ll drop off my six-year-old daughter Merritt for her first day of first grade at Hawthorne Elementary, where I started school 34 years ago. I know she will receive a great education thanks to educators and support staff who work so hard for our kids. I’m very proud to stand with NDU and its members as they go about their important work of educating our children and performing critical functions within our government.”


Wayne Stenehjem for North Dakota Attorney General

“North Dakota has been at the forefront in many areas for years and has gained national attention for all that’s going on. We need to continue to promote the good that has occurred, but also be mindful – and realize – that there continue to be challenges that need to be addressed,” said ND United-recommended candidate for Attorney General, Wayne Stenehjem.

“It has been my honor to have the endorsement of ND United (and NDEA) as I ran for re-election to the state House and Senate for 24 years, and in each election as Attorney General for 18 years,” said Stenehjem. “Your support has helped me become the longest-serving Attorney General in North Dakota history. I come from a family with long histories as state employees and am proud of the dedication devoted to education by my wife, Beth, when she was a classroom teacher. Today, our office has nearly 240 dedicated state employees who come to work every day, ready to work on behalf of our citizens. They are proud of the job they do, and of the support they receive from the top. I fully appreciate that the state enjoys outstanding service from our state employees, which means they are also entitled to a fair salary and fringe benefits. Your advocacy on behalf of your membership is commendable, and I have appreciated the opportunity we’ve enjoyed over the years to work together on all the issues you support, and look forward to continuing to work together in the years ahead.


Josh Boschee for North Dakota Secretary of State

“I’m running for Secretary of State to modernize the office and ensure that every eligible North Dakotan’s right to vote is protected,” said ND United-recommended candidate for Secretary of state, Josh Boschee. “As a member of North Dakota United, I am also committed to continue to be an advocate for public employees at all levels of government.

“I am honored to be endorsed by my North Dakota United family,” said Boschee. “As a former public employee and NDPEA chapter president, I know firsthand the joys and challenges of serving North Dakotans through our work in the public sector. Your endorsement gives me the strength to know that we have each other’s backs when it comes to ensuring that our government is supporting sound public policy that improves the quality of life throughout our state and provides public employees a safe and respectful workplace.” Boschee has served in the ND State House of Representatives since 2013, during which he held a nearly perfect voting record with North Dakota United.


Kylie Oversen for North Dakota Tax Commissioner

“I made the decision to run for Tax Commissioner because I believe that North Dakotans deserve a Tax Commissioner who is committed to his or her work and constituents, offering a vision for fair, reasonable tax policy, and willing to build relationships with other elected officials to best serve the needs of all residents of our state. I did not see these qualities in our current Tax Commissioner and knew that I had a lot to offer the office. Further, I was frustrated and worried about the impact of the ongoing budget crisis in state government,” said Kylie Oversen, ND United-recommended candidate for Tax Commissioner.

“As a former member of North Dakota United, the endorsement is incredibly meaningful to me,” said Oversen. “My grandpa was the head maintenance/custodial man at my hometown school for more than 30 years. I know how hard he worked, and know how hard all of our public employees and teachers work. They should have a strong voice in state government, advocating for their needs, and ensuring they are getting the pay, benefits, and support that they deserve. In addition, as Tax Commissioner, I would oversee more than 120 public employees. I would value the opportunity to work with and build relationships with those employees and make sure that their voices are heard, too, in the work that I do as Commissioner. In this time of across the board budget cuts, our state employees deserve elected officials who have their backs. I’m proud that NDU has mine and commit to always standing up for our public employees and teachers.”


2018 Legislative Candidate Recommendations

State Senate:

7              Nicole Poolman

9              Richard Marcellais

11           Tim Mathern

13           Judy Lee

15           Dave Oehlke

17           Ray Holmberg

19           Nikolaus Groenewold

21           Kathy Hogan

23           Joan Heckaman

25           Perry Miller

27           Quinn Garrick

29           Katherine Roth

35           Erin Oban

37           Rich Wardner

41           Kyle Davison

43           JoNell Bakke

45           Ronald Sorvaag


State House of Representatives:

3              Shannon Krueger

3              Bob Schwatrz

9              Tracy Boe

9              Marvin Nelson

11           Gretchen Dobervich

11           Ron Guggisberg

13           Dianne Hyndman

13           Landis Larson

15           Dennis Johnson

15           Greg Westlind

17           Monte Gaukler

17           Mark Sanford

21           LaurieBeth Hager

21           Mary Schneider

23           Jessica Dillon Hawkes

23           Cathy Swenson

25           Alisa Mitskog

25           Cynthia Schreiber Beck

27           Thomas Beadle

27           Ruth Buffalo

29           Lori Carlson

29           Mary Schlosser

35           Joe Elsberry

35           Bob Martinson

37           Keith Fernsler

37           Fern Pokorny

41           Pamela Anderson

41           Brandon Medenwald

43           Mary Adams

43           Matt Eidson

45           Mary Johnson

47           Sabina Gasper

47           George Keiser