FIRST ON FOX: Two-term North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, A former software company CEO, may soon jump into the burgeoning race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
Burgum is moving closer to making a decision on declaring his candidacy for the White House. He is currently shooting TV ads in preparation for a potential launch, sources with knowledge of the governor’s thinking told Fox News Thursday.
CBS News reported earlier Thursday that Burgum had begun working with political consultants with presidential campaign experience.
If Burgum, who is not known well outside of North Dakota, does launch a 2024 campaign, he would be considered a dark-horse contender in a field of actual and expected candidates with much higher name identification — including the current clear front-runner former President Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, former ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.
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The governor acknowledged in a meeting earlier with week with the editorial board of the North Dakota newspaper The Forum that he was mulling a presidential bid, adding “that’ll be next, to think about 2024.”
Burgum steered his one-time small business, Great Plains Software, into a $1 billion software company. His business — and its North Dakota-based workers — were eventually acquired by Microsoft, and Burgum stayed on board as a senior vice president.
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In 2016, the then first-time candidate and long shot convincingly topped a favored GOP establishment contender to secure the Republican nomination in North Dakota before going on to a landslide victory in the gubernatorial general election in the solidly red state. Burgum was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2020 to a second term as governor.
If Burgum does enter the 2024 presidential race, he would become one of the wealthiest member of the Republican field along with multi-millionaire entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Trump.
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Sources close to Burgum say the governor would likely focus a presidential campaign on two issues—the economy and energy. However, Burgum, who served as chair of the Western Governors Association, could also point to his recent moves as governor to sign into law a strict measure that bans abortions six weeks after gestation with limited exceptions, as well as legislation to restrict transgender rights and a bill making gender-affirming care for minors in the state a criminal offense.
CBS News was first to report word that Burgum was seriously considering a 2024 presidential run.