A Democratic military veteran is seeking North Dakota’s sole U.S. House seat, aiming for an upset in a state where Republicans hold every statewide and congressional office and Democrats haven’t won a statewide election since Heidi Heitkamp‚Äôs U.S. Senate victory in 2012.


“It is time to elect a pro-union, pro-choice, and pro-democracy leader to represent North Dakota in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Trygve Hammer, of Minot, said in announcing his candidacy on Wednesday. He’s challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Kelly Armstrong, an attorney and former state senator elected to the seat in 2018.

Hammer, who has previously run unsuccessfully for the state House and for North Dakota’s Public Service Commission, brings a wide-ranging resume. He cites 25 years of military experience, including deployment to Iraq in 2003 as a weapons platoon commander. He retired in 2010 as a major in the Marine Corps Reserve. He also worked as an airline pilot, freight rail conductor and a grades 7-12 science teacher.

“I am running for Congress because it is time to put government to work for all of us. It is time to end the grandstanding and culture-war intrusions into our most personal decisions as persons, parents, and patients,” Hammer said in a statement.