Stenehjem cited his October 13th opinion that Andahl’s death, if elected, would create a post that the 8th District Republican Executive Committee could fill upon appointment.
Burgum named Washburn coal manager Wade Boeshans as the seat last week, referring to a constitutional provision: “The governor may, upon appointment, fill a vacancy in office unless this constitution or law provides otherwise.”
The attorney general described the governor’s appointment as “imprecise and out of date” and referred to his opinion and the general election vote that has yet to be confirmed by the State Canvassing Board. The board meets on Friday afternoon to confirm the results.
Political observers have drawn attention to the party’s internal republican policies at play in the struggle, including Burgum’s conflicts with Delzer and his one-off rivalry with Stenehjem in the 2016 gubernatorial primaries when Burgum handily defeated the attorney general for the party’s nomination by voters. Burgum won a second term this month with Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford.
House Majority Leader Chet Pollert, R-Carrington, and District 8 Republican Chairman Loren DeWitz also share the attorney general’s opinion and intend to follow the process of appointing vacancies. The House has the final say on the seating arrangements of its members.
DeWitz said earlier this week the district party was planning to make an appointment. He plans to meet later this month.