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Respiratory specialist runs for North Dakota insurance commissioner

Respiratory specialist runs for North Dakota insurance commissioner

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A critical care respiratory specialist has announced a Democratic-NPL bid for North Dakota insurance commissioner, more than a month after the party endorsed her.

Travisia Martin, of Bismarck, announced her candidacy Tuesday. Democratic-NPL delegates endorsed her March 21 in an online convention format due to the coronavirus pandemic.

She has more than 40 years experience in her occupation, has traveled to all 50 states, among other areas, and "has seen firsthand how being uninsured or underinsured creates a significant threat to the health and well-being of all citizens," according to a statement from the party.

"Now more than ever we must elect officials who understand what happens when healthcare workers and patients don’t get the resources they need. We have to recognize that disbanding the (Affordable Care Act) would be a disaster for thousands of North Dakotans who would lose protections for preexisting conditions or who live in rural communities where hospitals would be forced to shutter," Martin said in the statement.

"I’ve spent my whole career on the front lines of healthcare. I’ve worked with the richest and the poorest patients, and we have to address the healthcare crisis many North Dakotans faced long before this pandemic," she said.

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A Democrat last headed North Dakota's Insurance Department in 2000.

Martin is expected to clinch her party's nomination by voters from the June primary ballot, after which in November she will face incumbent Republican Jon Godfread, who is seeking his second term. Godfread was elected in 2016, after serving as vice president of governmental affairs for the Greater North Dakota Chamber in Bismarck. He holds a law degree, a master’s in business administration and a bachelor’s in business.

The state insurance commissioner's salary is $107,885. It goes to $110,582 on July 1.

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

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