Doug Burgum wins GOP primary for North Dakota governor

BISMARCK, N.D. – Former Microsoft executive Doug Burgum has defeated North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem in the Republican primary for governor.

The Fargo businessman is expected to be a heavy favourite in November over Rolla Rep. Marvin Nelson, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary and is seen as a longshot in a state that has not had Democratic governor since 1992. Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple is not seeking re-election.

The Stenehjem-Burgum matchup focused on qualifications to lead the state amid declining oil revenues.

Burgum is known in North Dakota as the godfather of software for building Fargo’s Great Plains Software into a billion-dollar business, which he later sold to Microsoft.

Stenehjem was elected attorney general in 2000 and won the Republican convention delegates’ endorsement for governor in April.