BISMARCK — A Democratic-NPL candidate for governor has asked the current officeholder to disclose information used in his decision-making related to the state's COVID-19 response.
Shelley Lenz, a western North Dakota veterinarian, filed an open records request with Republican Gov. Doug Burgum's office on Thursday, May 21, asking for insights into the state's use of statistical modeling. The request also asks for information on the state's testing capacity and future guidelines for businesses.
The request comes two weeks after she, running mate Ben Vig and nine Dem-NPL legislators sent a letter to Burgum asking for the same information. On Thursday, Lenz accused Burgum of a lack of transparency amid a growing number of COVID-19 cases. She said doing multiple press conferences a week is not evidence of transparency because it "is a situation of quantity over quality."
Burgum spokesman Mike Nowatzki said the office has received Lenz's request and would process it like any other public request. However, he noted that the office had already been preparing a response to the letter and would respond soon. Nowatzki added that the office has received many open records requests lately and has "quite a few" responses in progress.
Lenz and Vig, a former state representative, are likely to face off against Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford and Libertarians DuWayne Hendrickson and Joshua Voytek in the November general election.