Who Is Republican Presidential Candidate Doug Burgum? All About The North Dakota Governor

With America in a cost of living crisis, the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and other important landmark cases, and climate change inching towards the irreversible, all eyes are on the 2024 presidential election for a leader that will save us from the chaos we're embroiled in. The race seems to be more heated than ever, with a growing number of candidates running for the party that elected Supreme Court justices who took away the vital rights of many citizens.

There are 13 Republican candidates running for president; as of now, former president Donald Trump and Florida governor Ron DeSantis are the frontrunners. However, there are still other candidates that are slowly rising in the polls. Among them is fellow governor Doug Burgum. Hailing from North Dakota, the current governor threw his hat in the race by penning an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. Businessman turned politician, Burgum sold Great Plains Software, a financial software company, to Microsoft for $1.1 billion. Then run by Steve Ballmer, Burgum's old friend from Stanford Business School, Burgum ended up joining the company later on.

After a series of business stints, including Vice President of Microsoft Business Solutions and founding a real estate development firm in Fargo, North Dakota, Burgum ran for governor in 2016 and 2020, winning both elections. Centering his platform around growing the economy, creating jobs, and decreasing income tax, Burgum's aspirations for the country are similar.

Governor Burgum is socially conservative

In an interview with Vox, after he became governor in 2016, Burgum stated that he was conservative only when it came to economics. "I am running as a moderate on social issues and as a fiscal conservative in a state that is socially conservative but has seen government spending rise more rapidly than even our fast-growing economy," he said. But since then, Governor Burgum supported a series of anti-trans laws in North Dakota, including one that permitted teachers and state government employees to refrain from using the pronouns of their students and coworkers.

He also signed a law banning transgender girls from joining female sports teams in K-12 and college, supporting a total of eight anti-trans legislature in 2023, more than any state in a long series of anti-trans laws sweeping the nation. As for abortion, Burgum followed the lead of other conservative states with strict legislation on the procedure. Pregnant people can only get an abortion if the fetus is a product of rape or incest or in a dire health situation. However, an abortion cannot be obtained after six weeks, no matter the case.

Burgum wants to focus on the economy and security

Burgum says on his website that "the economy needs to be the absolute top priority." As president, the former software executive wants to lower taxes and gas prices, cut down the cost of living, and scale down inflation. The other biggest threat to America, according to Burgum, are countries like China and Russia. "Our enemies are countries that want to see our way of life destroyed," he wrote in his op-ed announcement. Burgum plans on defending the U.S. by strengthening the military.

Gun violence and mass shootings are also a massive threat in the United States. Burgum hasn't said much on gun control recently, but in 2021, the governor christened North Dakota as a "Second Amendment Sanctuary State," reaffirming North Dakotans beliefs in their right to bear arms. After supporting the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline, Governor Burgum stated in 2021 that he wanted North Dakota to be carbon neutral by 2030.

North Dakota is known for its oil and gas production; it's also known to produce a large amount of carbon emissions. While some experts believe that radical changes must be made in order to achieve carbon neutrality, Burgum disagrees. "This challenge includes no mandates, no regulations, and no pressure for any individual company or producer to change what we are already doing," he said to Future Farmer Magazine. Although most registered voters are still unfamiliar with Governor Burgum, he has big hopes for his future in this country.