Bismarck, ND – Mike Nowatzki | An effort to raise $1 million in private donations to help pay for a new $5 million governor’s residence will be led by a high-ranking North Dakota Republican Party official and a Democratic state lawmaker from Fargo.
Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, who chairs the Capitol Grounds Planning Commission, recently appointed first-term Rep. Pamela Anderson and state GOP deputy chairman Jim Poolman as co-chairs of the fundraising committee.
State lawmakers voted in April to spend $4 million in state funds designated for Capitol grounds projects to raze the current 55-year-old governor’s residence and rebuild in the same location, as long as $1 million in private donations can be raised.
At least $500,000 in private funds must be secured before construction can start.
Anderson, a retired bank executive, and Poolman, a former state insurance commissioner, said Tuesday they plan to meet this week to discuss potential committee members and fundraising methods, which Anderson said may include a website.
“We’re hoping a lot of people around the state give money … to become enthusiastic that this is their residence, too, to be proud of it,” she said.
Poolman said he’s already been contacted by people offering to help with the fundraising effort, which will be coordinated by the nonprofit Friends of North Dakota’s Governor’s Residence. He said having a nonpartisan or bipartisan effort is important.
“Republicans aren’t always going to live in that house and Democrats aren’t, either,” said Poolman, whose wife is a GOP state senator. “This is about building a house that we can be proud of and that says something about the success of our state.”