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Bismarck Republicans chose former state GOP chairman Gary Emineth on Tuesday as the party’s candidate for the District 35 seat in the North Dakota Senate.

Emineth, 59, a businessman and entrepreneur, ran a brief campaign for the Republican U.S. Senate endorsement earlier this year. He stood down when  Rep. Kevin Cramer, who had decided against his own Senate campaign, changed his mind and announced a run. Since then, Emineth said, he has considered running for the state Senate seat.

Emineth will oppose incumbent Bismarck Democratic state Sen. Erin Oban, who is running for her second term.

“Now that the Republicans have chosen an interesting candidate that they think best reflects their values, I will continue to do the work that I have proven for the last four years in working across the aisle to get things done for our neighbors in District 35," said Oban. "Because of the relationships I’ve built I’ve been able to rise to positions of leadership, especially in K-12 education and remain focused on the issues that bind us rather than separate us.” 

As the race presents a difficult challenge, Emineth said he promised GOP activists that he is willing to devote the time necessary to win.

“I love district politics — it’s door to door, backyard parties, neighborhood coffees, getting to know the people,” Emineth said. “I know what it takes to go door to door. I love that about campaigning.”

District 35 includes central Bismarck, the Highland Acres neighborhood to the west and Hay Creek to the east. Its north border is Capitol Avenue, and it stretches as far south as East Broadway Avenue.

The district’s governing committee, which includes its precinct leaders, voted unanimously Tuesday night to choose Emineth as the Senate candidate. District 35’s House candidates, Republican incumbents Bob Martinson and Karen Karls, were endorsed for re-election at the district’s convention on Jan. 31.