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Rep. George Keiser

Rep. George Keiser, R-Bismarck, speaks during a floor debate on Friday.

With all precincts reporting Tuesday night, the two Republican-endorsed incumbents for North Dakota's District 47 House seats moved ahead to the general election. 

State Reps. George Keiser and Larry Klemin captured about 1,589 and 1,662 votes, respectively, to challenger Duane Sand's 1,003. Sand, a frequent and former congressional candidate, challenged the two incumbents after skipping district and state GOP conventions.

Keiser and Sand had wrangled over certain campaign statements. A Sand campaign mailer included a misstatement of Keiser's voting record. Keiser then accused Sand of violating the North Dakota Corrupt Practices Act, with his accusation included in ads from the District 47 Republicans, which Sand denounced as a smear effort.

Both incumbents said they were pleased with Tuesday's results.

"Officially, I am thrilled, actually," Klemin said. "It feels really good. I'm glad that George also is going on to the general election with me. He really deserved to win this one, and I'm so thrilled for him, too."

"It's been such an honor and privilege to serve the people of District 47, so I couldn't be happier. It was a difficult campaign, and I am glad that it's over," Keiser said.

Sand said he had "no regret" about the race and congratulated Keiser and Klemin, but expressed displeasure with the campaigns' infighting.

"It's a new low for the Republican Party, to use Republican Party funds and dues of Republican members to go after Republicans negatively like that," he said.

Sabina McGarrahan Gasper is the sole Democrat in the District 47 House race. 

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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Crime and Courts Reporter