Representative Kelly Armstrong secured the Republican nomination for governor of North Dakota, positioning himself as the frontrunner in the upcoming general election. He defeated the state’s lieutenant governor, Tammy Miller, in a closely watched primary race.

Armstrong, a lawyer and former state Republican Party chairman, has been serving as a congressman since 2018. His opponent, Miller, is an accountant and businesswoman who was appointed as lieutenant governor last year. Both candidates highlighted their support for former President Donald J. Trump and focused on conservative issues such as cracking down on illegal immigration and opposing President Biden’s agenda.

The race for governor gained momentum after current Governor Doug Burgum announced that he would not seek a third term. Burgum, a business-oriented Republican, has been a vocal supporter of Trump and his decision not to run again opened the door for new contenders in the GOP primary.

Armstrong emphasized his experience in Congress and his established relationships as assets that would benefit North Dakota. On the other hand, Miller positioned herself as a political outsider with a business background that would influence her governance style. The Republican nominee will now face off against Democrat State Senator Merrill Piepkorn in the general election.

Despite occasional Democratic victories in the past, North Dakota has become a Republican stronghold in recent years. With a largely rural population and a booming energy industry, the state has consistently supported Republican candidates in statewide elections. Trump’s overwhelming victory in the state in the previous election and Burgum’s re-election by a significant margin reflect the conservative leanings of North Dakota voters.

As the campaign for governor unfolds, voters will have the opportunity to choose between Armstrong’s experience and connections in Washington and Miller’s outsider perspective. The outcome of the general election will determine the future leadership of North Dakota and the direction the state will take on key issues facing its residents.