Last updated on: 12/4/2023 | Author:

Doug Burgum Biography

Doug Burgum, Governor of North Dakota


Candidacy announced: June 6, 2023

Federal Election Committee (FEC) financial data

Source: Office of Governor, State of North Dakota

Personal Life

Full Name: Douglas James Burgum

Birthdate: Aug. 1, 1956

Birthplace: Arthur, North Dakota

Marital Status: married to Kathryn Helgaas, addiction recovery advocate and First Lady of New Jersey

Children with first wife, Karen Stoker:

  • Jessamine (Jesse), CEO of Pinky Promise Films
  • Joe, Community Builder and Co-Founder at Folkways
  • Tom

Religion: no religion listed


  • cats, Teddy and Rosey

Career, Education, & Publications

Career Highlights:

  • Governor, North Dakota, Dec. 15, 2016-present
  • Founder, Kilbourne Group (investment firm), Sep. 2007 – Dec. 2016
  • Co-founder, Arthur Ventures (investment firm), July 2008 – Dec. 2016
  • Interim CEO, Intelligent InSites, 2011 & 2014
  • Senior Vice President, Microsoft Business Solutions Group, 2001-2007
  • Investor, then President, Great Plains Software, 1983 – 2001
  • Consultant, McKinsey & Company, Sep. 1980 – Mar. 1983
  • Owner, chimney sweeping business, 1978


Select Publications:

  • none found

Internet & Social Media Presence


  • As governor, Burgum banned TikTok on North Dakota government devices



Positions on the Issues

Should the U.S. Require Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases?

No position found as of Sep. 12, 2023.

Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?

No position as of Aug. 31, 2023.

Editors’ Note: Capital punishment was abolished in North Dakota in 1915 for all crimes excluding treason and murder committed by already jailed inmates. In 1973 the legislature voted to make no crimes eligible for the death penalty, thus Governor Burgum has no legislative record on the issue.- 

Source for Editors’ Note:, “States with the Death Penalty, Death Penalty Bans, and Death Penalty Moratoriums,”, Mar. 24, 2023

Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal?

No position as of Sep. 1, 2023

Editors’ Note: ProCon has not found a statement regarding marijuana legalization from Burgum, but he has signed legislation decriminalizing low-level marijuana possession in North Dakota and has pardoned some convicted of marijuana crimes.- 

Source for Editors’ Note: Kyle Jaeger, “Where Presidential Candidate Doug Burgum Stands on Marijuana,”, July 4, 2023

Should Public Sector Employees Have the Right to Unionize?

Not Clear

“There are plenty of people in this country that want to work for a good wage that don’t feel like they want to pay a union dues. So I just think that the red tape, the ideology, that it gets in the way of actually driving the economy forward.”- 

New York Times, “On the Issues: Where the Republican Candidates Stand on Labor and Unions,” (accessed Sep. 27, 2023)

Should Washington, DC, Be Granted U.S. Statehood?

No position as of Aug. 31, 2023.

Should the U.S. Become Socialist?

Not Clear

“Socialism has no place in North Dakota.” 

Doug Burgum,, Feb. 18, 2019 

Should the U.S. Implement a Universal Basic Income (UBI)?

No position as of Oct. 27, 2023.

Should the Federal Government Pay Reparations to the Descendants of Enslaved People?

No position as of Sep. 7, 2023.

Should Public College Be Tuition-Free?

No position as of Sep. 29, 2023.

Should Parents or Other Adults Be Able to Ban Books from Schools and Libraries?


“Protecting children from explicit sexual material is common sense, and I have signed House Bill 1205, which prohibits books containing explicit sexual material from being kept in the children’s collection at public libraries. House Bill 1205 also standardizes the process for local public libraries to review material when requested by parents, library users or other members of the public – a process already in place and working at nearly all public libraries across the state.”- 

The Dakotan, “Gov Burgum Vetoes: Obscene Bill and Miscellaneous Partial Veto,”, June 5, 2023

Should Any Amount of Student Loan Debt Be Eliminated via Forgiveness or Bankruptcy?


“Instead of focusing on reducing the rising costs of higher education, the President’s blatantly political and financially reckless plan will only incent[ivize] institutions to raise tuition prices even faster while also encouraging more student borrowing and driving up inflation even further, hitting every American in the pocketbook whether they attended college or not. This horribly misguided and incredibly unfair plan undermines a core American principle that individuals are responsible for paying off their own personal debts. This federal action will not affect student loans held by the Bank of North Dakota, and we would strongly oppose any copycat legislation at the state level. North Dakotans, like the majority of Americans, believe shifting college student loan debt onto the backs of their fellow citizens is fundamentally wrong.”- 

Doug Burgum, “Burgum Releases Statement on President Biden’s Student Loan Debt Cancellation Plan,”, Aug. 25, 2022

Should Voters Be Required to Show Photo Identification to Vote?


“The right to vote is a powerful underpinning of American democracy, and this legislation protects that right while offering eligible citizens multiple and straightforward opportunities to legally cast their ballot. House Bill 1369 strengthens the integrity of our elections by ensuring all voters have proper identification while allowing those without current or complete forms of ID to provide supplemental documents to verify their eligibility.”

Editors’ Note: House Bill 1369 was signed after a federal judge struck down North Dakota’s voter ID law saying the law placed an “undue burden” on Native Americans in the state.- 

John Hageman, “Burgum Signs Voter Id Bill amid Lawsuit,”, Apr 24, 2017

Should the Voting Age Be Lowered to 16?

No position as of Sep. 8, 2023.

Should the Federal Government Intervene to Lower Prescription Drugs Costs?

Not Clear

Editors’ Note: Governor Burgum signed House Bill 1032 on Apr. 27, 2021, which includes disclosure requirements for pharmaceutical companies: “(1) quarterly Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC) reporting, (2) disclosure of certain information upon a drug price increase, and (3) notification when introducing a new drug with a WAC that exceeds certain price thresholds.” The law does not specifically lower drug costs or advocate for lower drug costs, though some advocates believe transparency laws are a first step toward laws and policies that would lower drug costs.- 

Sources for Editors’ Note: InForum, “North Dakota Will Start to Open the ‘Black Box’ on Prescription Drug Prices with New Transparency Law,”, July 30, 2021
Thomas Sullivan, “North Dakota Enacts Price Transparency Law,”, June 13, 2021

Should Abortion Be Legal?

Not Clear

Doug Burgum: “I think the decision that was made returning the power to the states was the right one. And I think we’re going to have — we have a lot of division on this issue in America. And what’s right for North Dakota [where Burgum signed an abortion ban into law as governor] may not be right for another state … the best decisions are made locally.”

Interviewer Poppy Harlow: “Does that mean as president you would not sign a federal abortion ban?”

Doug Burgum: “That’s correct.”- 

Kelsey Walsh and Oren Oppenheim, “GOP Candidate Who Backed Strict Abortion Ban in His State Says He Wouldn’t Outlaw It Nationwide,”, June 8, 2023

Should the U.S. Maintain Birthright Citizenship?

No position as of Aug. 31, 2023.

Should the U.S. Government Provide a Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants?

No position as of July 21, 2023.

Is Artificial Intelligence Good for Society?


“Well, certainly the advent of AI that we’re just at the very cusp of is as technology has in my lifetime, it’s changed every job, every company, every industry. But unfortunately, it hasn’t had as much change as it should in areas like education, health care, or government. And education and health care, big areas of government spending. We haven’t harnessed the power of technology the way the competitive private sectors have. Now with AI coming along and you’ve got tools that are free. I’m thinking of one product in particular [likely ChatGPT], but it speaks 26 languages. It knows how to code. It can draft first responses for you for reports that you may have to develop.

And we, when we completed the legislative session in North Dakota this year, what we did after that is we got all of our cabinet heads together. We brought in all the industry experts and we said, how can we apply the tools of AI to make government services more effective, more efficient, and more responsive to our citizens. Because every agency always says, hey, we don’t have enough FTEs [full-time employees]. I wish I had more people helping us out. Well, now we can give every, every, every government team member can actually have an assistant, a co-pilot that can do all these amazing things.

So I think you asked the question about regulation, but I’m saying there’s an upside here in terms of productivity gains that are just incredible that are going to help, again, transform all these industries as we go forward, we have to think about what are the right appropriate guardrails to make sure that we apply to these new technologies. But for our country right now, when we have 11 million jobs available, which is not going away because of all the baby boomers that are retiring and demographically, we’re going to have a chronic labor shortage that’s going to drive costs up for labor. One of the ways to have higher productivity and lower costs and more meaningful jobs with more purpose for people is to be able to harness these tools which can take the drudgery and the repetitiveness out of every job. So I’m very excited about where technology has taken us, but [also] where it can take us.”- 

WMUR, “Doug Burgum Talks about Popular Political Issues among Young Voters,”, July 14, 2023