A Forum News Service report last month summed up North Dakota's U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong’s first term in office.
“By Armstrong’s own admission, he didn’t know much about tech when he was first elected,” FNS reported. But, the report continued, the Republican congressman has quickly developed a reputation as a critic of big tech and recently was praised by the national magazine Wired for showing a “highly substantive” understanding of tech-related issues. Armstrong, the magazine said, is a “rare glimmer of hope” for antitrust progress in a divided government.
Because of their short terms and the sheer size of the House membership – two years and 435 members, respectively – members of Congress must act fast or become ineffective and insignificant. Armstrong, whose ascent in politics has been steady and marked by success at each stop, has adapted quickly and deserves to continue for at least another two years.
Armstrong faces Democrat Zach Raknerud, a 2016 University of North Dakota graduate who now lives in Minot. Raknerud is an unknown – when asked in March by a Forum News Service reporter where he works, he would not say, citing his company’s policy – and he has no trackable political experience.
Meanwhile, Armstrong’s political resume grows. He’s a UND graduate from Dickinson who has served as the state Republican Party chairman. He served two terms in the North Dakota Senate before deciding to run for Congress in 2018. He won 60% of the vote against upstart Democrat Mac Schneider.
In his two years in Congress, Armstrong has been visible, despite his rookie status. He has pushed for improvement to the United States Postal Service, firmly standing against efforts to privatize the agency, which he rightly believes will be detrimental to postal customers in North Dakota. As mentioned, he has become a source on big-tech issues. He has used his background as a lawyer to gain prominence on the House Judiciary Committee. He is a member of the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis.
And he has been an advocate for North Dakota oil, energy and agriculture.
Armstrong has done nothing that should dissuade voters from sending him back to Washington for another term.
In fact, Armstrong should continue his political ascent by becoming even more vocal and more visible over the next two years. While he has been available to the media and, presumably, all North Dakotans, Armstrong also isn’t loud when he’s back within the state’s borders. In his second term, he should consider more announced public appearances, writing more op-eds about important issues and spending more time sending up flares on his whereabouts so more North Dakotans can see him up close and learn more about him.
No matter if he takes that advice, Armstrong should be sent back to Congress to continue the work that he so quickly and adeptly began during his first term.
This endorsement represents the opinion of Forum Communications Co. management.