North Dakota High Court: Dem Insurance Commissioner Candidate Ineligible

August 27, 2020

The North Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that the Democratic nominee for insurance commissioner is ineligible for the November ballot.

In a unanimous opinion, the high court upheld a lower court ruling that concluded Travisia Martin hasn’t lived in the state long enough to hold the office.

The North Dakota Constitution requires statewide officials to be a resident of the state for five years prior to an election for statewide office.

Martin, of Bismarck, said she moved to North Dakota in 2015 and worked as a traveling critical care respiratory specialist. She said she also owned a home in Nevada at the time and considered herself a resident of both states.

North Dakota’s Republican Party cited Martin’s November 2016 vote in Nevada as evidence of her ineligibility to hold office, based on a five-year residency requirement for executive branch officials.

Democrats endorsed Martin in March to run against Jon Godfread, who is seeking a second term. He was elected to the position in 2016, defeating Democrat Ruth Buffalo by a 2-to-1 margin.

A Democrat hasn’t headed North Dakota’s Insurance Department since 2000, and only three have served in the office since statehood.

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Topics North Dakota

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