taoCMS™ Demo Site: Latest News


Home » Latest News »

Latest News

Representing people and a place

Posted 4/17/19 (Wed)

By Bilal Suleiman
ND Newspaper Association

North Dakota is a vast, open state, and while it has a few population hubs, it’s sparsely populated and sends but one representative to the U.S. House of Representatives.
And within the state, Legislative District 39 is a sprawling district with population concentrated in Beach, Bowman, Hettinger and Watford City. It has a diverse, booming economy thanks to the presence of the Bakken shale formation - yet has just three legislators representing an array of varied interests, including 50 percent of the state’s oil production, by some estimates.
Sen. Dale Patten, R-Watford City, understands well the challenge of maintaining contact with far-flung constituents and understanding what affects them in the state’s largest district.
The freshman lawmaker, who replaced longtime Sen. Bill Bowman, has experience working as a county extension agent in Slope and McKenzie counties, as well as serving as a McKenzie County Commissioner for 12 years. Patten said his past in public service gave him experience and allowed him to build up name recognition in a district whose residents are scattered over an area larger than several states. Email and cell phones have helped, he said.
Patten said he has a 3½-hour drive from the northern edge of his district, just south of Williston, to the southern edge, the South Dakota border.

For the full story, subscribe to the McKenzie County Farmer