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Jeff Kolpack, Published November 07 2012

Thoreson re-elected to fifth term in North Dakota District 44

FARGO – Blair Thoreson spent his Monday morning at the corner of Elm Street and 19th Avenue North, where scores of cars were lined up waiting to get through a four-way stop. The incumbent North Dakota representative held up a “go vote” sign and waved at anybody who looked at him.

The corner essentially was one of the last campaign stops in his bid for re-election from District 44 – and it worked. Thoreson was re-elected to his fifth term in a tight race with three other candidates.

“You try to connect with people however you can,” he said. “We’ve done that in the past and you try to leave no stone unturned. No matter if it’s your first time or fifth time, I’m honored people put their trust in you.”

But democratic challenger Joshua Boschee appeared to oust incumbent Donald Clark in complete but unofficial results for the second district seat. Thoreson and Boschee each had 26 percent with 3,372 and 3,411 votes respectively.

Clark had 3,091 votes and challenger Dem. Bob Jansen 3,147, both 24 percent.

“Hard work paid off,” Boschee said.

Like Thoreson, experience also paid off for Rep. Tim Flakoll, who was re-elected to his District 44 state senate seat in his challenge from Dem. Rick Olek. Flakoll collected 3,845 votes, 52 percent, to Olek’s 3,491, or 47 percent.

It was the fifth successful campaign for Flakoll, who said this one had its share of mudslinging.

“I think we were subjected to more mean-spiritness I guess,” he said. “I think in my case they know what they have and they’re not going to listen to some of the chatter. There’s a lot of talk about how it makes it tougher to go into a session, where the state benefits from the spirit of collaboration.”

Flakoll said his role in education and the issue of the state’s surplus were two major issues of interest to people.

Legislators serve four-year terms and are paid $148 per day during the legislative session.