Sanford resigns as ND lieutenant governor, successor to be announced today


BISMARCK, ND (Valley News Live) – Governor Doug Burgum today announced the resignation of Gov. Brent Sanford. Sanford’s last day will be Jan. 2. Sanford has served as North Dakota’s lieutenant governor since he and Burgum took office on December 15, 2016.

They were re-elected in 2020 for a second term. In a statement accompanying his resignation letter, Sanford says he wants to return to the private sector and focus on his family and career. He is a certified public accountant who served as mayor of Watford City, as well as owning and operating a third-generation car dealership there before running for office in Burgum.

“We are deeply grateful for Brent’s exceptional service to the State of North Dakota and its citizens over the past six years,” Burgum said. “From his leadership on key issues including energy, child care and economic development, to his work with the legislature as President of the Senate, to his leadership as governor appointees to various state boards, Brent has made a positive impact on the North Dakota citizens, economy and communities far and wide. An honor it has been a pleasure to serve with him, and we wish him, Sandi and their children the best in their future endeavours.’

Officials say Sanford is among the longest serving lieutenant governors in the country, the longest in state history. Sanford has spent nearly 17 years in public service, including more than 10 years as mayor and six as lieutenant governor.

“Serving the citizens of North Dakota as lieutenant governor has been the honor of a lifetime, and this was not an easy decision,” Sanford said. “Opportunities to make a difference in the lives of North Dakotans, from helping solve budget challenges and saving Coal Creek Station, to negotiating tribal tax agreements and supporting UAS expansion, to tax relief and Clean Sustainable Energy efforts to help the Legislature ensure our state came out of the pandemic strong – it’s been an incredible journey and I am forever grateful to Governor Burgum and the voters of North Dakota for entrusting me with this responsibility. After serving the last third of my life as an elected official, I want to once again work more closely with the private sector and focus on my family and career.”

Governor Burgum will announce his new lieutenant governor for the remainder of Sanford’s two-year term at a press conference today at 12:15 p.m. in the state capital.

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