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Former state senator running for Burleigh County auditor/treasurer

Former state senator running for Burleigh County auditor/treasurer

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Tracy Potter, pictured in 2015, is running for Burleigh County auditor/treasurer.

Bismarck resident and former state senator Tracy Potter is running for Burleigh county auditor/treasurer.

Potter is circulating petitions to get on the June primary ballot. He said his experiences in management and public policy make him qualified for what he calls a "very big job."

Potter, a Democrat, led the state tourism office from 1992-93. He served in the North Dakota Senate representing District 35 from 2007-10. He was president of the Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation from 1993 until retiring in 2015.

His announcement comes just over a week after county commissioners approved placing a measure on the June ballot on whether to make the position, along with the county recorder seat, appointed instead of elected.

Potter said in his announcement that he supports the county auditor/treasurer role remaining as an elected position.

"In order to do the job independently, the auditor can't owe his job to the county commissioners. He or she needs to be chosen by voters," Potter said.

The Burleigh County auditor/treasurer serves as one of two chief financial officers, along with the county finance director. The auditor/treasurer also administers elections and oversees public records. 

Potter said the auditor/treasurer role fits "his experience and skill sets."

People who want to run for the county auditor spot will need to gather at least 300 petition signatures by April 6 to make the June ballot. The primary will determine which two candidates make the November general election, which will determine who fills the open county auditor seat. If the ballot measure passes, it will have no effect on this year's election. No candidates have yet filed with the county for the position.

Potter said he is practicing social distancing as he collects signatures. He has collected them from friends and supporters through email and Facebook. He also has nailed a petition to the maple tree in his front yard, providing a pen and hand sanitizer to passersby.  

“We’re collecting signatures one and two at a time. It’s not easy, but I hope to qualify," Potter said.

The county auditor/treasurer starting salary is between $78,769 and $88,566, depending on experience, according to County Elections Manager Erika White.

Reach Andy Tsubasa Field at 701-250-8264 or andy.field@bismarcktribune.com.

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