A former utility regulator announced her candidacy Thursday for North Dakota’s only House seat.

Republican Julie Fedorchak has served on the state’s three-member Public Service Commission since 2013. She has won three state elections, most recently in 2022 with more than 71% of the vote.

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Fedorchak told a room packed with Republican state officials, lawmakers and party faithful at GOP headquarters in Bismarck that he would focus on energy, agriculture and the country’s financial well-being. He said he would like to serve on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, using his knowledge from his work on the regulatory panel “to help rein in runaway agencies and support energy policies that recognize the critical role energy plays in public safety, our economy and national security.

“The simple principles we follow in North Dakota and that work well across our state government are the same foundations that will help us overcome the mountain of challenges facing our nation,” Fedorchak said.

North Dakota has an open race for its House seat because Republican Rep. Kelly Armstrong, first elected in 2018, is running for governor.

Elections 2024 North Dakota House

North Dakota Public Service Commissioner and Republican Julie Fedorchak announces her candidacy for the United States House of Representatives at Republican Party headquarters in Bismarck, North Dakota, on Thursday, February 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Jack Dura)

Other Republican House candidates include former state Rep. Rick Becker, a plastic surgeon, and former state Sen. Tom Campbell, a potato farmer.

Democrat Trygve Hammer, a military veteran, is also running. A Democrat has not won a statewide election in North Dakota since 2012.

North Dakota’s dominant Republican Party will endorse candidates for statewide office and congressional seats at its April convention in Fargo. Voters in the June primary election will nominate candidates for November.

Fedorchak told reporters that he intends to seek the endorsement of the Republican Party at the convention, but will run in the primary.

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If elected, she would be the first woman to represent North Dakota in the United States House of Representatives.

By Sam