Young Candidate Joins Ticket In Young North Dakota District

By John Celock

A North Dakota legislative district known for electing a youthful three-person delegation is seeing one young legislator move to be replaced on the ticket by another young candidate.

University of North Dakota alumnus Grant Hauschild has announced his candidacy on the Democratic ticket for the state House of Representatives in the 42nd District in Grand Forks. Hauschild replaces 30-year-old Rep. Corey Mock (D-Grand Forks) on the ticket after Mock moved to another Grand Forks district, where he will seek his third term in the House.

The 42nd district is centered on the University of North Dakota and the surrounding neighborhoods in Grand Forks. The district has a history of electing young candidates with Hauschild joining a Democratic ticket consisting of Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider (D), 36, and Rep. Kylie Oversen (D), 27.

“By having our district represented by young people it shows students that you can get involved in politics and your voice can be heard in matters,” Hauschild told The Celock Report.

A Fargo native, Hauschild was a Truman scholar and the student body vice president at the University of North Dakota before his 2011 graduation. Currently the assistant development director for the UND Alumni Association, Hauschild said he is motivated to run for the state Legislature in order to address a series of issues, many centered on a student population.

He noted he wants to see the state adopt non-discrimination legislation, along with take efforts to expand voting opportunities for students, address the rising cost of tuition and work to promote the economy in downtown Grand Forks. In the voting area, Hauschild said that he believes the state’s voter identification laws have hindered student voting in the state.

Hauschild said that he wants to see the state address college affordability, noting that the state’s revenue spiked during the oil boom which can help higher education.

“North Dakota has the means to assure that our colleges are affordable for young people,” he said.

Hauschild said that as he talks to students and young professionals in his district, he hears many talking about college affordability, voter identification laws and downtown issues at the top of their list. He said students want to see a “vibrant downtown area in Grand Forks and other big cities around the state. Hauschild said he wants to see government work closely with the business community to build downtown areas.

“Our young people are becoming more and more directed to downtowns. They want walkability and a vibrant scene there,” he said. “The government can work in partnership with the private sector to focus on the downtown.”

Hauschild worked in government in Washington, D.C. before returning to North Dakota. During his Washington tenure he was an aide to U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and worked on economic development programs in the Rural Development section at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

North Dakota’s 42nd district has long elected young candidates and leaders within the state’s Democratic Party. Schneider, who was first elected in 2008, leads Senate Democrats, while Mock, first elected in 2008, is the assistant minority leader in the House and ran unsuccessfully for secretary of state in 2010. Oversen, first elected in 2012, currently serves as state Democratic Party chairwoman, the youngest major party state chair in the nation.

Oversen’s predecessor was Rep. Stacey Dahl (R), who was 23 when she was first elected in 2004. Schneider was preceded by Sen. Nick Hatcher (R), who was in his 20s during his service. In 2012, Republicans nominated candidates under the age of 30 in the district.

Republicans have not announced a ticket in the district.

Like many of the young candidates who have run in the district, Hauschild credits his experience in UND student government for his interest in running. He noted that during his tenure in student government he worked to lobby state lawmakers on UND issues.

“In student government you are lobbying on behalf of students to the state Legislature, he said. “I’d go to the Legislature or go to our local legislators about renovating the law school or a new medical school building.”

Oversen told The Celock Report that she is “very excited” about Hauschild joining the ticket. She noted that his skill set will help him both on the campaign trail and if elected, in Bismarck.

She noted that Hauschild helped to get her involved in politics.

“Grant is actually one of the reasons that I got involved with politics, as he encouraged me to be involved with student government,” Oversen said. “I know he is extremely committed to this race and this district.”