Wrigley announces bid for North Dakota Attorney General

December 31, 2021

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Former U.S. attorney and lieutenant governor Drew Wrigley announced Thursday he will run for North Dakota attorney general.

The Republican aims to fill the seat held by Wayne Stenehjem, who announced this month that he won’t seek reelection next year.

Wrigley, 56, was U.S. attorney from 2001 to 2009, and again from 2019 to 2021. He was lieutenant governor from 2010 to 2016 under former GOP Gov. Jack Dalrymple.

Stenehjem, 68, is the longest-serving attorney general in state history. He first took office in 2001 and has held the office for six terms. His career in North Dakota politics has spanned over four decades, starting with his election to the House in 1976. He ran for governor in 2016 but lost in the GOP primary to Doug Burgum, who went on to become governor.

Dalrymple, who was lieutenant governor under John Hoeven, picked Wrigley to fill his position after Hoeven won a U.S. Senate seat, and turned the governorship over to Dalrymple in 2010. Dalrymple and Wrigley were elected to their first four-year terms in 2012.

Wrigley was a prosecutor for five years in the Philadelphia district attorney’s office before he returned to North Dakota in 1998 and became director of the state’s Republican Party the following year.

Wrigley’s most high-profile case as U.S. attorney was the conviction of Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. in the death of University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin.

Wrigley is an alumnus of the University of North Dakota and American University’s law school in Washington.

No other Republican or Democrat has announced a bid for attorney general, the state’s top law enforcement post.

North Dakota Republicans and Democrats will endorse their favored candidates at their party conventions in the spring. Endorsements guarantee a spot on the ballot for each party’s June primary election, as well as official backing against any challengers.