Former North Dakota Lieutenant Governor Wrigley to Run for Attorney General | Government-and-politics
Former U.S. Attorney General and Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley is considering making an offer for the state attorney general.
Wrigley informed the Tribune of his decision in an interview Thursday. He plans to make an official announcement next week.
Wayne Stenehjem, North Dakota’s longest-serving attorney general, announced earlier this month that he would not be running for another term. He was first elected in 2000.
Wrigley, 56, cited his experience as a lawyer and leadership as well as his family’s business background and time in the private sector. He will seek the approval of the Republican Party at his state convention in April in Bismarck. He is the first candidate to announce himself.
“I immediately begin the work of finding my party’s nomination. I want to be the Republican standard bearer for the attorney general,” Wrigley said. “I put everything aside. It’s my full time job.”
He will campaign statewide, appearing at district GOP rallies and party delegates in early 2022.
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Wrigley, a native of Bismarck, spent five years as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia investigating and prosecuting violent crimes, drug trafficking, and sex crimes before returning to North Dakota in 1998.
He was the United States Attorney General for North Dakota from 2001 to 2009, during which time he prosecuted Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. for the murder of University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin in 2003. The case was the only one in North Dakota involving the federal death penalty.
He served as Lieutenant Governor from 2010 to 2016, initially appointed by Governor Jack Dalrymple to fill the role Dalrymple left when he succeeded former Governor John Hoeven, who resigned to enter the United States Senate.
Republicans Dalrymple and Wrigley won their only full term in 2012.
In 2015, Wrigley revealed he had had an extramarital affair. At the time, he was considering running for governor. He said on Thursday that the case was “a purely painful, difficult and personal matter”.
In 2017, he joined Sanford Health in Bismarck as an advisor after stepping down.
In 2019, the United States Senate confirmed the appointment by then-President Donald Trump of Wrigley as the United States Attorney General for North Dakota, a position he held for approximately two years until his resignation in February 2021 due to the new Biden administration. Relocation is typical after a change of administration.
Since then, Wrigley has worked with his family’s two industrial contractors in Fargo.
The attorney general is one of the few high-level positions on next year’s poll, which also includes the secretary of state and the tax commissioner. The three long-time holders are not racing.
Wrigley has said that if he is elected Attorney General his priorities will be accessibility, transparency and accountability. He cited his support for sun laws and his approach to communications in the Olivia Lone Bear case.
Lone Bear went missing on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in 2017. His body was found in 2018 in a truck that was submerged in Lake Sakakawea, near New Town. Wrigley and an FBI agent met with the Lone Bear family in 2019 to brief them on the status of the investigation. Family members had expressed frustration with the case.
âI wanted to change course on thisâ¦ We’re not looking for rewards for it, by the way. It’s the way public servants should approach it,â Wrigley said.
He also thinks he could help close the cracks in the North Dakota Qualified Republican Party and has said he will work with the Democrats.
“If I’m elected, after six months in office I’m very confident that the Democrats will recognize that they have an attorney general … who they can consult with in their office and in their legislative work and everything, and who doesn’t isn’t there to undermine their work just because we’re from different parties, âWrigley said.
He said his candidacy for attorney general was not a springboard for a gubernatorial campaign in 2024.
“I am firmly committed to this race and, if elected, firmly committed for four years of what will be a very energetic service,” he said.
Contact Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or [email protected]