Bill mirrors court ruling on filling open legislative seats

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota legislative leaders are proposing a bill that spells out the process for filling the seat of a victorious candidate who dies or resigns before taking office.

The bill was sparked by a similar scenario last fall that resulted in a clash between the governor and lawmakers.

Republican House candidate Dave Andahl died due to complications from the coronavirus on Oct. 5 and then won one of two open seats in District 8.

Gov. Doug Burgum, who in the primary supported Andahl and another candidate over longtime Republican lawmaker Jeff Delzer, tried to appoint Washburn coal executive Wade Boeshans.

That move was rebuffed when the state Supreme Court said a Republican district committee should pick the replacement.

The proposal essentially mirrors that ruling.

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