(NewsNation) — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is planning to announce he will run for president in the 2024 election, according to multiple media reports.
Burgum, a two-term governor, NBC News reported, is expected to enter the race in coming weeks. Sources familiar with the plan told the news outlet, as well as the Wall Street Journal, that a June 7 event in Fargo is scheduled for Burgum to officially announce his bid.
A number of other politicians have already thrown their hats in the ring, including former president Donald Trump, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, and most recently, current Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is seen by many as the previous president’s biggest competition.
In his interview with NBC News, Burgum contrasted himself with DeSantis: Both Republican leaders signed legislation banning abortion at six weeks in their state and restricting transgender rights, though Burgum doesn’t usually tackle what he calls “cultural issues.”
“Cultural issues can be handled by states, and they can be handled by school boards and local libraries and city commissions,” Burgum told NBC. “And there are certain things that the federal government has to focus on, and that’s what our campaign is going to be about.”
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Also unlike DeSantis, Burgum defended face masks during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and even vetoed a bill that would have prohibited state officials from mandating them.
“To strip future governors and their state health officers of any low-cost tool that might be used to save lives and livelihoods in a future pandemic or other emergency would be both irresponsible and unnecessary risk to the future public health and well-being of North Dakota citizens,” Burgum wrote in his veto message, per the AP.
Earlier this month, Burgum floated his plans for the upcoming presidential election to The Forum of Fargo-Moorehead.
“That’ll be next, to think about 2024,” Burgum told the local newspaper’s editorial board after the state’s legislative session. Although The Forum said he would be campaigning as an “underdog,” it also wrote that this isn’t a new experience for the former software executive and entrepreneur who entered his 2016 gubernatorial race with 10% support.
“There’s a value to being underestimated all the time,” Burgum said, recalling that he had no endorsements in his first race. “That’s a competitive advantage.”