This is one of those stories out of left field that has me baffled.
The Dickinson Press – Jaeger’s challenger in the upcoming general election is Democrat Kristin Hedger. Hedger said in a Saturday story by The Press if she were the secretary of state, she would have more closely researched her own qualifications to run for the office.
Hedger, 26, has spent part of the past five years out of state as a student. To hold state office in North Dakota, the state constitution requires a candidate to reside in North Dakota for the five years prior to the election.
So let me get this straight: Hedger says that Jaeger is unqualified to continue being Secretary of State because he didn’t recognize that she may be unqualified to serve at all?
As secretary of state, Jaeger said that is out of his realm of responsibilities.
“We cannot make that determination, so what she was suggesting, that is not within the role of the secretary of state’s office,” Jaeger said.
Referencing North Dakota Century Code 16.1-09, Jaeger said in a separate statement none of the items required to be reported in that section pertain to residency. Instead, that chapter only refers to statements of interest filed by candidates.
However, the statement of interest chapter does refer to violations of and means of enforcing the rules. Jaeger said, though, an investigation could relate only to statements of interest returned to the secretary of state and nothing else.
There are many reasons why Jaeger did not further investigate into Hedger’s residency qualifications, he said.
“There’s no way we would have questioned the endorsement of the political party,” Jaeger said. “The political party itself…would have to determine whether the candidate was qualified actually to hold office.”
Jaeger said it would be “presumptuous” for him as secretary of state to question the party.
So Jaeger defense is that it’s not his job anyways? Why does all the candidate and PAC paperwork end up in your office? What do you do use it to prop up the desk?
This is a very odd story.