Primary and general elections sometimes seem like low priority events. Further, you may get excited about presidential and congressional elections, but races for North Dakota House and Senate seats often don’t create the same interest or sense of urgency. I’m here to tell you that these races are incredibly important. For example, the last state legislative session tackled issues such as:
- Men/boys having access to girls’ locker rooms;
- Public prayer at school events;
- Closing of businesses on Sundays;
- Watering down of “husband and wife” to “spouses” in every North Dakota law; and
- School choice and funding opportunities for private and homeschool families.
I can guarantee that many of these issues will again be introduced and up for vote in our next legislative session starting next January. If these issues are important to you, the legislators voting for or against the relevant bills make all the difference in the world. Fundamentally, who sits in those legislative seats will determine whether or not we remain a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. Do we want to base our laws on these principles or become the next New York or California?
This is why Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota endorses candidates. When we choose to endorse a candidate, we put our “stamp of approval” on this man or woman, believing that through our vetting process, we’ve identified a candidate who will stand strong for life, families, and religious freedom in North Dakota. I can assure you that through this process, the candidates we endorse are pro-life, pro-business, supportive of school choice, opposed to creating a legally protected class of individuals based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and in alignment with your dearly held values that we at Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota fight for every day.
As you consider your vote in North Dakota’s primary election on June 12th, we strongly recommend you consider the following candidates who have earned our endorsement. Please also watch for future candidate endorsements, both for state and Congressional seats.
Michelle is running for North Dakota’s 41st House District. Michelle is a relative newcomer to the political scene, but we at Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota wholeheartedly endorse her. Anyone who knows Michelle will agree that she possesses a heartfelt commitment to Christ and biblical values. Michelle has worked tirelessly, advancing pro-life and pro-family values through various avenues at the local level, and was instrumental in helping us plan and execute our annual dessert banquet this year in Fargo. Moreover, she is one of just three individuals from North Dakota who have been chosen to attend our sister Foundation’s Statesmen Academy™ this year.
Michelle was born in Grand Forks and raised in Bismarck, received a B.S. degree from UND, and worked in the West Fargo Public School district. She is married to Tom, an ophthalmologist in Fargo. Tom’s father (Earl Strinden) left an amazing legacy of efficient and effective government, serving in the North Dakota House for almost 20 years, including 13 distinguished years as Majority Leader. Michelle and Tom have four children, ranging in age from 12 to 20.
Janelle is seeking election to the House of Representatives, representing District 45. Janelle is someone who is clearly pro-life and pro-family, which is evidenced in so many ways. She and her husband Keith have been married over 20 years. Janelle is currently Co-Director of the North Dakota International Pageant, a Children’s Ministry Assistant at Triumph Lutheran Church, has been a camp counselor at Inspiration Point Bible Camp, and their family attends Triumph Lutheran Brethren Church.
Perhaps as important, Janelle and Keith reached out in faith and undertook the challenge of becoming foster parents for three different children. In time, they adopted these precious children and added them to their existing family of five. The need for these children to have a Christian home and loving family environment is more evidence to where Janelle’s heart lies.
Janelle grew up just outside of Fargo, holds a B.A. Degree in Apparel Construction and Design, and worked in retail prior to her current positions. She and Keith are now parents to six beautiful children ranging in age from 17 to 9 years old. Janelle will also be attending our sister Foundation’s Statesmen Academy this year, representing North Dakota.
Representative Al Carlson
Representative Carlson is running for reelection in the 41st House District. He is the current House Majority Leader in the North Dakota legislature and has represented his district for the past 25 years.
Al has been a stalwart supporter of pro-life and pro-family values over the years. His leadership has ensured that your values are supported, defended, and advanced. Al has the unique opportunity as Majority Leader to see the larger picture on issues that affect you and your family. This allows him to strategize and rally other like-minded legislators on particular bills. Al’s voting record and respect in the House speak for themselves when it comes to defending your deeply held beliefs.
Al is a partner at Up North Recreation and has been very active in home builder associations over the years. He attended NDSU, is married to Sharon, and they have been blessed with three children and 12 grandchildren. Al and Sharon attend St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.
Representative Tom Kading
Representative Tom Kading is seeking reelection to the North Dakota House representing District 45, a position he has held since 2014. Tom has been an ally on many key legislative issues. He voted for family values on every critical piece of legislation that was pro-family or pro-life during the last legislative session. Although Tom is relatively new to the legislature, he is respected for his principles and deeply held beliefs. Further, his legal background allows him to carefully evaluate the language and intent of the various bills introduced each session. Tom’s presence in our legislature helps ensure that your values are being upheld and protected.
Tom has a B.A. degree in civil engineering from NDSU and a law degree from UND. He is an entrepreneur and owns businesses which participate in real estate investment and technology innovation. . He is married to Ashley, they have a daughter Hannah, and their family attends Salem Evangelical Free Church.
Representative Karen Karls
Representative Karen Karls is seeking reelection to the North Dakota House representing District 35. She has served District 35 in this position since 2006 and has served as Republican district chairperson for 20 years. As a legislator, Karen has been a member of the House Education committee, the Government and Veterans Affairs committee, and the Judiciary committee, where she served two past sessions as vice-chair.
Karen has been a steadfast ally in the fight to protect biblical values in North Dakota. She has voted for pro-life and pro-family bills consistently, motivated by her own personal faith. Her 12 years in the legislature and experience as vice-chair of the Judiciary committee make Karen an influential ally defending your values at the Capitol.
Representative Karls holds a degree in medical technology from Minot State University, was appointed to the State Council on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, and also serves on the Protection & Advocacy Committee and the Volunteer Caregivers Board. Karen and her husband Ken have four children and are members of Cathedral of the Holy Spirit church.
Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota is excited to endorse these excellent candidates running for state offices. We are confident that they will work with us to advance our shared biblical values in the legislature. Please remember that these candidates will stand alongside you to help shape North Dakota into a state you can be proud to pass along to your children and grandchildren!
President and Executive Director
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