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Could Doug Burgum be a biz-savvy VP pick for Trump?

Could Doug Burgum be a biz-savvy VP pick for Trump?
When Doug Burgum launched a campaign for the Republican presidential nomination focused on economic growth, energy production, and national security, few Americans outside of the Flickertail State had heard of the former software CEO turned governor of North Dakota. Just to get the 40,000 unique donors needed to make the debate stage, he had to give out $20 gift cards in return for $1 campaign donations. While he’s still far from a household name, he has emerged as a dark horse favorite to become Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate.

Who is he? The67-year-old Burgum hails from Arthur, North Dakota — a town of roughly 300 residents — and worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Co before leveraging his family farm to start an accounting software company called Great Plains Software, which he sold to Microsoft for $1.1 billion in 2001.

His deep pockets allowed him to self-fund an unconventional bid for governor, where he circumvented normal North Dakota Republican party processes by challenging the party’s pick after the convention, overcoming a40-point deficit in the polls.

As governor,he pushed for deregulation and lowering taxes. He oversaw North Dakota achieving the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 2%, a budget surplus, and ranking the best state to start a business according to Forbes. He’s a businessman at heart, and although he signed a restrictive abortion law, he is more comfortable discussing economic development than waging culture wars.

Why is he a front-runner? His supporters see him as a pragmatic counterweight to Trump’s inflammatory impulses and believe he could attract more independent voters to the ticket. They also argue that his business experience would help him advance Trump’s ambitious second term agenda.

He boasts a similar profile to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, another would-be VP pick and Wall Street’s preference. Both men bring stability, business sense, and appeal that can bring moderate Republicans to the table, but Youngkin has made it clear that he prefers to continue focusing on Virginia.

We will find out next week. After months of teasing the identity of his pick, Trump must eventually end the (sort-of) suspense when he accepts his party’s nomination next week at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.


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