BISMARK, ND | Rep. Josh Boschee, who became the first openly gay lawmaker in North Dakota when he was elected to the state’s House of Representatives in Jan. 2013, is looking to make history again in November and become the state’s first openly gay secretary of state.
As a North Dakota representative, Boschee led a charge to save a state bill that would have given protections against discrimination in housing and employment to LGBTQ North Dakotans.
North Dakota’s current secretary of state is 74-year-old Republican Al Jaeger. Jaeger has held the position since 1993 but lost his party’s endorsement to software executive Will Gardner in April. Gardner was forced to withdraw from the race several weeks later after a 2006 guilty plea for disorderly conduct resurfaced.
While now receiving the support of state Republicans, Jaeger announced he will be running as an Independent in the election and not as a part of the GOP. The Republican seat in the race is still vacant.
Image from Josh Boschee for Secretary of State Facebook page.