North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger plans to seek re-election as an independent in November after the Republican-endorsed candidate dropped out once his 2006 peeping arrest surfaced. Jaeger, a Republican who has been in office since 1993, said Monday, May 21, he conferred with Republican Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem about his legal options and determined an independent run was his only viable path to re-election. “I know the office well. I believe I have a good record,” Jaeger said. Jaeger will need 1,000 signatures by Sept. 4 to appear on the November ballot.
Mandan businessman Will Gardner won the North Dakota Republican Party’s endorsement at April’s state convention. But Gardner said Sunday he would exit the race after The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reported he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct 12 years ago after prosecutors said he had “peeped in numerous female dorm rooms” at North Dakota State University.
“I decided a year ago that I would run one more time, and that was changed at the convention and I honored what the convention decision was,” Jaeger said. “But now circumstances are different today.”