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Published November 05, 2010, 08:15 PM

New Lt. Gov. Wrigley to Have Public Safety Duties

Drew Wrigley will handle public safety issues and relations with North Dakota lawmakers when he becomes North Dakota's new lieutenant governor next month, the job's current holder says.

By: Dale Wetzel, Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Drew Wrigley will handle public safety issues and relations with North Dakota lawmakers when he becomes North Dakota's new lieutenant governor next month, the job's current holder says.

Jack Dalrymple said the assignments reflect Wrigley's experience as a prosecutor and former aide to Gov. John Hoeven. Hoeven was elected to the U.S. Senate this week, and Dalrymple will take over as governor when Hoeven resigns Dec. 7.

North Dakota's Constitution gives the lieutenant governor only one specific job, to preside over the state Senate when the Legislature is in session. Wrigley knows most North Dakota lawmakers, and was responsible for listening to their concerns when he served as Hoeven's deputy chief of staff a decade ago, Dalrymple said.

Wrigley's background as a former North Dakota U.S. attorney and district attorney in Philadelphia also makes it a natural assignment for Wrigley to handle "law enforcement, public safety, the judicial branch," Dalrymple said.

As Hoeven's lieutenant governor, Dalrymple has been chairman of the state Investment Board, a role that has taken on a higher profile because of the losses sustained by North Dakota public employee pension funds and the suicide of the former director of the state Retirement and Investment Office.

He also heads the North Dakota Trade Office, which helps promote exports by state businesses, and the Commission on Education Improvement, which was formed in January 2006 as part of a settlement of a lawsuit over the distribution of state education aid to school districts.

Wrigley plans to begin work in the governor's office Nov. 15 to begin catching up on issues, and he said Dalrymple will decide what his duties will be. Dalrymple said he and Wrigley would have to discuss which of Dalrymple's current duties will be transferred to Wrigley as the new lieutenant governor.

Wrigley "will have a lot of responsibility and we will listen to his opinions on every policy question," Dalrymple said. "That is the way it has worked with John Hoeven and Jack Dalrymple, and that's the way that I would like it to continue to work."

The Legislature's three-day organizational session begins Dec. 6, and the regular 2011 session begins Jan. 4. Dalrymple said he would be giving Wrigley a primer on how to preside over the North Dakota Senate.

"Poor Drew has no idea what he's getting into there, and I'm looking forward to training him up in that role," Dalrymple said. "That's not an easy job, but I didn't want to scare him off right away."

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