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Following state Sen. Kelly Armstrong’s resignation Tuesday as state Republican party chair, the party will hold a special election to fill the remainder of his term.

According to the party’s bylaws, NDGOP first vice chair Jim Poolman is now acting chair, he confirmed Thursday.

“We will set up a special election to permanently fill that role within the next month,” he said of the timing, which will take place before the party’s convention in April in Grand Forks.

“There is one particular candidate who is interested,” said Poolman, adding he doesn’t yet know the full range of interested parties in the position. Gov. Doug Burgum will have “considerable input” as “de facto head of the party,” Poolman said.

Armstrong, R-Dickinson, was serving his second two-year term as NDGOP chair when he resigned Tuesday to seek the state Republican nomination for Congress. He was re-elected as chair in July 2017.

Republican district chairs and party officers will vote for Armstrong's successor, said Poolman, adding that interest is high in this year's races.

“We’ve got great candidates running for office, and there is interest in our state convention in part because of the contested congressional race and the grassroots of the party is very excited to attend,” he said.

Five Republican candidates are vying for the party's endorsement for North Dakota's lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

North Dakota’s Republican state convention is set for April 6-8 in Grand Forks.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or


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