ND-Gov: Hoeven Elected to Third Term

Continuing our tour of gubernatorial races that played out as expected, Republican Gov. John Hoeven has prevailed in North Dakota. He will be the state'...
by | November 4, 2008

John Hoeven Continuing our tour of gubernatorial races that played out as expected, Republican Gov. John Hoeven has prevailed in North Dakota. He will be the state's first three-term governor since North Dakota extended gubernatorial terms from two to four years in 1964.

This race was never in doubt. Hoeven had been reelected with 71 percent of the vote four years ago and raised nearly $2 million, compared with state Sen. Tim Mathern's treasury of under $300,000.

The two bickered over education, health care, the quality of jobs created on Hoeven's watch and even the state's budget surplus, which Mathern claimed was an example of mismanagement.

It was a rare case where the Republican complained that the Democrat's promises for a tax cut were overly generous. Hoeven suggested that Mathern made promises would have spent the surplus multiple times over, not only through a big income tax cut, but new spending on health coveragge and an expensive state-owned oil refinery as well.

In a desperation play a week before the campaign, Mathern held a news conference, seeking to link Hoeven to President Bush. Hoeven introduced Bush at a 2005 rally in the state. At the time, Bush was promoting his Social Security privatization plan, so Mathern claimed that "North Dakotans deserve an explanation" -- even though Hoeven never supported the idea.

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