Wardner will not seek re-election to North Dakota State Senate

Photo by: Government of North Dakota
Photo by: Government of North Dakota

(Bismarck, ND) -- North Dakota's current Senate majority leader is calling it quits in 2022.

The Dickinson native made the announcement in a press conference Wednesday that he would not seek re-election in 2022 after serving 10 years in the role, and over three decades in the senate.

You can read Wardner's full statement on his decision below.


Statement released to WDAY Radio from Rich Wardner:

“Today I am announcing that I will not be seeking re-election in 2022. Three years ago, I made the decision that this term would be my last, and while this is a bittersweet day for me, I am proud of the many goals I have accomplished. I have worked hard to help improve the quality of life for all North Dakotans, and I have fought tirelessly for conservative values. As Majority Leader, I’ve had the privilege of working with fellow legislators, support staff, and the Governor on major, significant legislation, including numerous energy and education bills, behavioral health issues, the “Surge” infrastructure bill, and “Operation Prairie Dog.”   

I have also had the privilege to serve with many thoughtful and dedicated individuals, some who are no longer with us, and others who have gone on to do big things in the private sector and even in Congress. Together, we have worked hard to build something that we can be proud of. 

This has not always been an easy job, but I have been honored to do it. As I pass the torch, my greatest hope is we can come together as a party and as a state to focus on our shared needs and common goals. That our actions would be rooted in civility; building each other up, recognizing each other’s inherent worth, and disagreeing respectfully when necessary. Not only is this critical to ensure that good people are willing to serve, but also for the greater good of the people we represent. 

Finally, thank you to the voters of District 37 for your support over the past 32 years. It has truly been an honor to serve you. Thank you to my Senate colleagues for your loyal support.  And a special thank you to my wife and family for their love and encouragement.  

One of my favorite quotes is from Teddy Roosevelt who said, “do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” This adage has encouraged me throughout my time in the legislature and will continue to guide me into this next phase of life. Going forward, I plan to stay active in my community and make a difference where I can. I hope and pray that each of you will do the same.  

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve as a legislator and leader in government. The honor of serving in these roles is nearly as great as the role to which I now return—a friend, neighbor, and private citizen of the great state of North Dakota.”