BISMARCK, N.D. — Republican primary voters in North Dakota will have an assortment of choices for the state’s only U.S. House seat, with candidates ranging from the little-known to a former Miss America.

Monday was the candidate filing deadline for the June 11 primary election. Along with a new representative, North Dakotans will elect a new governor this year, setting the stage for a decisive Republican primary showdown between the state’s lone congressman and lieutenant governor. Republicans hold every statewide office and congressional seat, and Democrats have not won a statewide election since 2012.

Election officials accepted candidate filings throughout Monday in the wake of weekend endorsing conventions held by the Republican and Democratic parties.

The crowded Republican House race is poised for an energetic campaign season after a contentious endorsement process and Monday’s entry of former Miss America 2018 Cara Mund, an attorney who ran unsuccessfully for the seat as an independent in 2022.

The other GOP candidates are military veteran and former U.S. State Department employee Alex Balazs, former state Rep. Rick Becker, Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak and Sharlet Mohr, a little-known candidate who did not immediately return a phone message.

The state Republican Party has endorsed Balazs, but he faces candidates with greater name recognition, such as Fedorchak, who has held elected office for over a decade, and Mund, whose pageant win filled her home state with pride.

Mund says she’s running again this year because she didn’t see any moderates in the race. Abortion rights were a major part of her 2022 campaign.

“I’m a strong believer in limited government. I don’t think that they should be controlling women,” she told reporters Monday.

Mund said she has similar views as her opponents on the importance of securing the U.S. southern border. However, when asked if she supports former President Donald Trump, she raised concerns about how much the Republican Party has become centered on one person.

“As a lawyer, I support law and order,” she said. “If you’ve been proven guilty, that is a court ruling.”

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