FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) The new Governor and Lieutenant Governor Elect took the stage speaking about their transition plan and building a team to complete their campaign goals like balancing the state budget without raising taxes on Wednesday. The announcements came not even 24 hours after being declared the winner.
Jodi Uecker will join the Burgum-Sanford team in helping "reinvent state government." Uecker worked with Burgum for about 20 years at his software company, Great Plains.
She announced they are looking from within the political system and outside of it for people to join his administration. A website was launched Wednesday encouraging anyone in or out of state to apply.
Burgum says he still plans to give his salary back to the taxpayers.
"This is the crazy thing about government you would think that would be an easy thing to do like I don't want to take my salary, some people would be so far to think oh you can't," said Burgum. "We'll figure a way to get it done and even if it means I got to take the salary and donate it, I'll do that."
Burgum reiterated during his time with the media that the North Dakota taxpayers are customers and should be treated that way.
He was asked other questions regarding issues throughout the state such as the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline Protest, balancing the state budget and immigration issues. Burgum says he will work closely with Governor Jack Dalrymple regarding the upcoming budget. That will be submitted in December and will make any changes once he's sworn in on December 15th.
As for the Dakota Pipeline Protest, Burgum says Dalrymple is still in charge and that the people should support the current governor in the decisions.
We did ask what he would do if the issue is still happening on December 16th, his first official day in office.
"Those of you that are covering it, those of you that have been down there, or involved know that there is new information coming out day by day and that information is coming out at different levels," explained Burgum. "It's coming out from the camp itself, Washington D.C., it is coming out from different agencies and it is coming out in the courts. It wouldn't be fruitful for me to speculate on what decision to make on December 16 because we could have a completely different decision on our hands."
We also learned today that Burgum's election had the most votes for the office in the state's history.