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Published November 01, 2011, 04:46 PM

Dalrymple Kicks Off Election Campaign

(AP) — North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple kicked off his election campaign Tuesday by telling supporters that his background in business, agriculture and government will help preserve prosperity in one of the country's few flourishing states.

By: Dave Kolpack, Associated Press

(AP) — North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple kicked off his election campaign Tuesday by telling supporters that his background in business, agriculture and government will help preserve prosperity in one of the country's few flourishing states.

The 63-year-old Republican, a three-time lieutenant governor who took over for Gov. John Hoeven last year after Hoeven was elected to the U.S. Senate, said North Dakota is the envy of the nation and he plans to keep it that way.

"I believe there is no limit to what we can accomplish in North Dakota," Dalrymple said. "That is why I'm here today to announce that I am running for governor."

Dalrymple began his tour of four North Dakota cities in downtown Fargo at a business run by Doug Burgum, a former vice president of Microsoft Corp. Burgum said the state's recent success is not due solely to the energy boom in western North Dakota.

"I would want to make sure that people don't mistakenly assume that it's just because it's the luck of our resources," Burgum said. "There are plenty of other examples of states with lots of natural resources that have completely blown their whole approach to governing."

Dalrymple is smart about managing the state's resources, Burgum said.

Greg Hodur, the state's Democratic chairman, questioned the timing of Dalrymple's publicity tour with lawmakers preparing to meet in a special session on Nov. 7.

"Jack Dalrymple's announcement comes as no surprise," Hodur said in a statement. "However, the real question is whether or not it is appropriate for him to spend this week campaigning, fundraising and essentially politicking instead of preparing for the special session?"

Democratic Senate leader Ryan Taylor says he expects to announce his own campaign for governor after the special session.

Dalrymple touted his experience in managing the family farm near Casselton, founding a pasta company, and serving in state government for the last 25 years.

"I've seen how government policy and regulation can either support or stifle opportunities," he said. "Government needs to let the private sector be successful instead of getting in its way.

"That's the experience I bring to work with me every day at the state capitol," he said.

Dalrymple said policies under the state's Republican administration have helped North Dakota create jobs, build its cash reserves and lower taxes. He noted that North Dakota has the lowest unemployment in the nation and personal income is growing at a rate twice the national average.

The state is projected to build its surplus to more than $1 billion by 2013, Dalrymple said.

The governor said the state's burgeoning bank account should allow it to improve public safety and housing in the oil patch. He said he asked the Highway Patrol to assign nine officers to western North Dakota, and will request the Legislature to support more law enforcement.

Dalrymple said he would also work with lawmakers on a flood recovery package and permanent flood protection to "finally give people the peace of mind they deserve." The state has been hampered by chronic flooding in recent years, a problem Dalrymple said has been compounded by poor management from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Dalrymple also criticized the Environmental Protection Agency for what he called senseless rulings on air quality rules.

Dalrymple, who planned additional stops Tuesday in Grand Forks, Minot and Bismarck, announced that Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley would be his running mate.

Fargo architect Paul Sorum announced earlier that he is seeking the GOP endorsement to run for govnernor. Sorum ran unsuccessfully for the Republican U.S. Senate endorsement in 2010.

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