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Published December 01, 2010, 06:45 PM

ND Governor-in-waiting Already Has E-mail Ready

Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple is being sworn in next week as North Dakota's new governor, but the state's e-mail system says he's already got the job.

By: Dale Wetzel, Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple is being sworn in next week as North Dakota's new governor, but the state's e-mail system says he's already got the job.

North Dakota's government website now lists governor(at)nd.gov as Dalrymple's e-mail address, and the address he used as lieutenant governor has been deactivated.

The governor's office normally uses governor(at)nd.gov as a general address for taking public comment. Gov. John Hoeven has his own state e-mail address.

North Dakota's Information Technology Department manages the e-mail system for state government. Mike Ressler, the agency's assistant director, said Wednesday that the system records about 400 changes, additions and deletions each month.

Employees are sometimes allowed to keep their existing state e-mail addresses if they move to work within another agency, Ressler said.

Hoeven is resigning as governor on Tuesday, during the North Dakota Legislature's organizational session. Hoeven, a Republican who has been governor since December 2000, takes office Jan. 3 as the state's first GOP U.S. senator since 1986. He will succeed Democrat Sen. Byron Dorgan, who did not seek re-election and is leaving office after 18 years.

Dalrymple, also a Republican, has been lieutenant governor during Hoeven's entire tenure as governor. The Casselton farmer, businessman and former state legislator has picked former North Dakota U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley to replace him, marking the first time in state history that a lieutenant governor has chosen his own successor.

North Dakota's lieutenant governor has not replaced the governor since February 1935, when Walter Welford stepped in for Thomas Moodie. Moodie, who was governor for only five weeks, was ousted after it was discovered he did not meet the North Dakota Constitution's requirement that the governor be a resident of North Dakota for at least five years before his election.

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