A longtime North Dakota legislator has announced he will run for re-election in 2020.

State Sen. Jim Dotzenrod, D-District 26, is seeking the nomination and endorsement from District 26’s Democratic-Nonpartisan League. District 26 includes all of Sargent County and parts of Richland, Ransom and Dickey counties, North Dakota.

“It has been a privilege to serve the citizens and good folks of District 26, representing them and their interests in the state legislature,” Dotzenrod said.

Dotzenrod’s campaign platform includes property tax relief. During North Dakota’s 2019 legislative session, he served on the Senate Finance and Tax and Political Subdivisions committees. In the interim, he’s serving on the Agriculture, Tax, Commerce and Natural Resources committees.

“(There’s also) good roads that are well-maintained, support for local nursing homes and a strong strong public education system,” Dotzenrod said. “In addition, the 2021 legislature will be appointing a redistricting committee to determine new district lines for the next 10 years. I would like to be there to insure District 26 has a voice in those decisions.”

District 26 will hold its convention at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23. It will take place at the United Steelworkers Local 560 Union Hall, 402 Eagle Lane in Gwinner, North Dakota.

The convention will also include the nomination and endorsement of candidates for two North Dakota House of Representatives seats. District 26 is currently represented in the House by two Republicans, Sebastian Ertelt and Kathy Skroch.

Additionally, convention participants will select delegates and alternates to North Dakota’s Democratic Nonpartisan League Convention, scheduled for March 19-22 in Minot. The public is invited to the District 26 convention, which will include a meal.

“I’m happy that Sen. Dotzenrod has committed to running for another term in the North Dakota Senate,” state Rep. Alisa Mitskog, D-District 25, said. “He does a tremendous job representing District 26 and southeastern North Dakota. His years of experience and knowledge of agriculture are invaluable.”

Having served in the U.S. military since 1968, Dotzenrod returned home in 1972 and began farming in the Wyndmere, North Dakota area. First elected to the North Dakota Senate in 1978, he served four terms through 1994.

Dotzenrod was subsequently re-elected to the North Dakota Senate in 2008. If elected in 2020, he would serve a fourth consecutive and eighth overall Senate term.

In 2016, Dotzenrod faced Republican candidate Jason Heitkamp for the District 26 Senate seat. Dotzenrod received more than 51 percent of the vote, or 3,451 total votes. Heitkamp received nearly 49 percent of the vote, or 3,287 total votes.

Voting was not as close with District 26’s House race. Skroch received 3,554 total votes, or nearly 29 percent of the vote. Ertelt received 3,326 total votes, or just over 27 percent of the vote.

Democratic Nonpartisan League candidate Bill Amerman received 2,729 total votes, or more than 22 percent of the vote. Fellow Dem.-NPL candidate Jerry Kelsh received 2,667 total votes, or nearly 22 percent of the vote.

North Dakota Republicans will hold their convention March 27-29 in Bismarck. The state’s primary election will be held June 9, 2020, the same day as elections in cities including Wahpeton.

District 26’s legislative races will be decided on the national election day, Nov. 3, 2020.

With elections approaching, look to Daily News for updated coverage of campaigns, candidates and items under consideration in North Dakota, Minnesota and across America.

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