Why is Doug Burgum running for president?

The North Dakota governor is already making campaign commercials

Doug Burgum
(Image credit: Stephen Yang/Getty Images)

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is contemplating a bid for the GOP presidential nomination, The Washington Post reports, and is so serious about the prospect that he "is already filming television ads" for his nascent presidential campaign. That might be something of a surprise: Burgum's name has not often been listed among the likely candidates as the 2024 presidential race gears up.

Even North Dakotans might be surprised by their governor's ambitions. One local journalist, a columnist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, spotted the possibility ahead of just about everybody else. Columnist Rob Port writes he "happened to notice, back in March, a few stray social media posts indicating that North Dakota's governor had made the sort of trip to Iowa that presidential candidates make." Until this month, though, there were few other public clues that Burgum would actually run. Who is Doug Burgum? What is his agenda for higher office? And what are his chances?

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Joel Mathis, The Week US

Joel Mathis is a freelance writer who has spent nine years as a syndicated columnist, co-writing the RedBlueAmerica column as the liberal half of a point-counterpoint duo. His work also regularly appears in National Geographic, The Kansas City Star and Heatmap News. His awards include best online commentary at the Online News Association and (twice) at the City and Regional Magazine Association.