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Democrat drops longshot bid to replace Burgum as North Dakota's governor

Travis Hipsher, a longshot Democratic candidate for governor of reliably red North Dakota, announced Sunday the suspension of his campaign.

A Democratic candidate for North Dakota governor has ended his long-shot campaign.

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Travis Hipsher, of Neche, announced his withdrawal on Sunday. The little-known Democrat, who is a security guard at a bus manufacturer, said he "didn't have the numbers to continue to carry out the fight to get the endorsement" of the party at its convention later this week.

Hipsher's withdrawal essentially clears the way for state Sen. Merrill Piepkorn, of Fargo, to clinch the Democratic nod for governor. The party faces headwinds in Republican-dominant North Dakota, where Democrats haven't won a statewide election since 2012.

The Republican Party will also hold its state convention later this week, but some candidates are taking their campaigns to the June 11 primary election, when voters will determine the nominees for November.

U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong and Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller are competing for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Independent Michael Coachman, a frequent statewide candidate, also is running for governor. Republican Gov. Doug Burgum is not seeking a third term.

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