Following the presentation of the colors and leading of the Pledge of Allegiance by Scout Troup No. 560, the District 24 Democratic-NPL 2024 convention was called toorder and began with a rousing speech from Joel Heitkamp. Heitkamp spoke about the promising turn out at this convention and reminded all present that they have to be courageous and willing to speak against harmful and hateful behavior of political leaders and neighbors. “We have to stand up and take people on so they have to claim what they really believe and what they really mean so everyone on both sides of the aisle has a chance to say no and push back against the harmful ideas and fight for the people of North Dakota,” Heitkamp said.

He continued, “One of the things I love the most is the same thing you love the most, which is the state of North Dakota.” He encouraged the audience to remember that they can love and serve this state by being sure to vote and invite others to join in on the work around causes they care about

Candidates for State office were also present and shared some words. Katrina Christiansen of running for Senate shared, “I am running to represent all the people of North Dakota.” On the campaign trail she says she’s been hearing “people feel like their representatives, their government, don’t care what they have to say, don’t listen to their needs. We don’t have time for DC to waste our time. We have lives to live and bills to pay… I’m running to solve problems. I’m really good at solving problems… We need to do the hard work of fixing what’s broken. It’s hard work to fix things, but that’s what makes it worth doing.”

Trygve Hammer, Candidate for the House of Representatives, shared about his motivations for running and how his backgroundinforms his work ethic saying, “I’m the only candidate in this race who won’t empower   the legislators who refused to vote for bills that help Americans and directly benefited North Dakotans. I’m the only candidate in this race who has come home aching after working on a rig in Bakken. I’m the only candidate who has managed a kindergarten classroom, a high school science classroom, and combat patrols in Iraq.” Hammer shared that his commitment is to “show that good policy can make a difference”. He emphasized, “our current ND Representative didn’t vote for the recent bills that have made a positive impact on people’s lives, especially the lives of North Dakotans.”

Those gathered at the convention also endorsed three candidates for the state Legislature.The D24 Dem-NPL Candidates for State Senate and State Legislature are Knut “Pete” Gjovik, Nancy Farnham, and Shawn Olauson. Each shared their desire to uplift the district and return to common-sense and common-ground politics.

Pete Gjovik shared, “If my ancestors had the fortitude to fight fascism the only way they knew how, then I can have the fortitude to run for state senate. There’s people whose voices need to be heard in this state senate…I can’t promise I can make all the things happen that we want, but I promise I will try my hardest. I will do the research. And I promise I will stand up for people who don’t normally have a voice. Everybody has value. Everybody needs to have value and be appreciated and be represented.”

After her nomination, Nancy Farnham expressed gratitude for the endorsement saying it was “an honor and it is humbling to have the endorsement from youall. I’ve tried to live a life of service [as a social worker and Administrator for Maryhill in Enderlin] and now it’s time to serve in the state legislature. It would be an honor to serve and represent District 24. It will take all of us, but we have a great opportunity to bring compassion and service back to our district.”

Shawn Olauson continued, “There’s important issues in this district that need to be dealt with and our current representation didn’t deal with those issues. So I’m ready to deal with them. I’m ready to find some solutions. Thank you for your endorsement and support.”

District chair Bradley Edin said, “I can’t imagine a better ticket.  We Democrats are looking forward to the 2024 campaign and the opportunity to elect people who will actually represent and serve all the people of Barnes and Ransom Counties and North Dakota as a whole.”