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Published November 03, 2010, 10:24 AM

Republicans sweep statewide offices in North Dakota

BISMARCK — North Dakota Republicans swept five statewide offices in Tuesday's election, easily holding off challenges by Democratic hopefuls.

By: James MacPherson, Associated Press

BISMARCK — North Dakota Republicans swept five statewide offices in Tuesday's election, easily holding off challenges by Democratic hopefuls.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring won his first campaign for the post, beating Democratic challenger Merle Boucher.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Goehring had 68 percent of the vote and Boucher 32 percent.

Goehring was the only statewide officeholder up for election who was not previously elected to the post. Gov. John Hoeven appointed him last year after Democrat Roger Johnson was elected president of the National Farmers Union. Goehring unsuccessfully ran against Johnson in 2004 and 2006.

"Try, try again," Goehring said of his victory. The Menoken rancher and farmer said he has helped bring unity to the North Dakota agriculture community since he was appointed.

"In the past, it seemed like there was a divide," he said. "I bring to the job an intimate knowledge of agriculture and I understand the challenges producers face every day."

GOP Secretary of State Al Jaeger, one of the longest-serving officials in the North Dakota Capitol, won re-election against Democratic challenger Corey Mock.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Jaeger had 62 percent of the vote to Mock's 38 percent.

Mock is a Democratic state representative from Grand Forks and director of a medical clinic.

Jaeger has served 18 years in the office that is best known for supervising elections.

Republican Tax Commissioner Cory Fong won his second four-year term, beating Democratic challenger Cynthia Kaldor.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Fong had 67 percent of the vote and Kaldor 30 percent.

Fong has been tax commissioner since June 2005, when he was appointed by Hoeven. Fong ran his first successful campaign for the post a year later.

Republican Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem cruised to re-election in his fourth successful statewide race for the job of North Dakota's top law enforcement officer.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Stenehjem had 74 percent of the vote to 26 percent for Jeanette Boechler, a Fargo attorney.

GOP Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer defeated Democratic rival Brad Crabtree.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Cramer had 61 percent of the vote and Crabtree 35 percent.

Cramer was elected to the PSC in 2004 and currently serves as its president.

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