Wayne Stenehjem

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Wayne Stenehjem
Wayne Stenehjem crop.jpg
29th Attorney General of North Dakota
Assumed office
December 15, 2000
Preceded by Heidi Heitkamp
Personal details
Born (1953-02-05) February 5, 1953 (age 66)
Mohall, North Dakota, U.S.
Political party Republican

Wayne Stenehjem (/ˈstɛnəm/ STEN-jəm; born February 5, 1953) is an American lawyer and politician from the U.S. state of North Dakota. He is the Attorney General of the state, serving since December 15, 2000. He sought the Republican nomination for governor of North Dakota in 2016 but lost the primary on June 14 by 20%.


Wayne Stenehjem was born in Mohall, North Dakota. He graduated from Bismarck High School in 1971 and Bismarck State College in 1972. He attended the University of North Dakota and the UND School of Law, graduating in 1977. Stenehjem was elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives in 1976, and served two terms there until 1980, when he was elected to the North Dakota Senate. He served in that capacity until 2000, when he became Attorney General of North Dakota.[1] As Attorney General, Stenehjem proposed legislation to curb methamphetamine use and addiction in the state, by restricting retail sales of certain products used in its manufacture, providing mandatory treatment for first-time drug offenders, and increasing criminal penalties for drug offenders. Stenehjem was reelected in 2004, 2006, 2010, and 2014 by wide margins.

He is married to Beth Bakke Stenehjem, and has one son, Andrew. He is the brother of North Dakota Senate Majority Leader Bob Stenehjem (1952–2011) and former North Dakota House of Representatives member Allan Stenehjem (who is now a lobbyist).



In 2014, Agent Arnie Rummel, who worked under the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, under the supervision of the Attorney General's office, was charged in Dickey County District Court with two misdemeanors.[2] Business owner Darrell Schrum accused Rummel of violating his constitutional rights when the BCI damaged personal property and seized Schrum's payloader and transported it out of state.[3] Rummel had secured a warrant to seize the equipment, suspected as stolen, and Stenehjem's office defended Rummel in the long-running dispute that ensued.

Stenehjem said, "All he did was return a payloader that was stolen to the rightful owner." But Schrum's attorney argued that the trucking company Rummel gave the loader to had no legal ownership and that the search warrant required Rummel only to deliver the loader to the court.[4] Rummel was found in contempt of court and the case resulted in a cash settlement for Schrum, as the payloader was found to have been unlawfully seized.[5]

Electoral history

North Dakota Attorney General Election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Wayne Stenehjem 157,986 55.74
Democratic-NPL Glenn Pomeroy 125,466 44.26
Total votes 283,452 100.00
North Dakota Attorney General Election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Wayne Stenehjem (inc.) 218,599 72.54
Democratic-NPL Bruce Schoenwald 82,754 27.46
Total votes 301,353 100.00
North Dakota Attorney General Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Wayne Stenehjem (inc.) 148,194 68.86
Democratic-NPL Bill Brudvik 67,032 31.14
Total votes 215,226 100.00
North Dakota Attorney General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Wayne Stenehjem (inc.) 175,627 74.55
Democratic-NPL Jeanette Boechler 59,781 25.38
Write-in 174 0.07
Total votes 235,582 100.00
North Dakota Attorney General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Wayne Stenehjem (inc.) 181,678 74.06
Democratic-NPL Kiara Kraus-Parr 63,255 25.78
Write-in 395 0.16
Total votes 245,328 100.00
North Dakota Governor Republican Primary Election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Doug Burgum 68,042 59.47%
Republican Wayne Stenehjem 44,158 38.59%
Republican Paul Sorum 2,164 1.89%
Republican Write-in 51 0.04%
Total votes 114,415 100.00%
North Dakota Attorney General Election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Wayne Stenehjem (inc.) 215,633 67.55
Democratic-NPL David Thompson 102,869 32.23
Write-in 715 0.22
Total votes 319,217 100.00



  1. ^ "Former Attorneys General". North Dakota Attorney General. Archived from the original on 28 March 2011.
  2. ^ http://www.grandforksherald.com/news/crime-and-courts/3850864-north-dakota-bci-agent-faces-criminal-charges-payloader-dispute
  3. ^ http://www.inforum.com/news/4104170-owner-seized-payloader-files-suit-against-north-dakota-crime-bureau-agent
  4. ^ http://www.crookstontimes.com/article/20141118/News/141119648
  5. ^ http://www.westfargopioneer.com/news/4204428-attorneys-north-dakota-pay-55000-settle-suit-over-payloader-seized-state-crime-bureau
  6. ^ "North Dakota Secretary of State". results.sos.nd.gov. Retrieved 2019-03-27.

External links

  • Campaign site
Legal offices
Preceded by
Heidi Heitkamp
Attorney General of North Dakota
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