Johnson Wins Farmer Union Election; ND to Get New Ag Commissioner

Doug Goehring may get the appointment from Republican governor.

Roger Johnson, North Dakota's Agriculture Commissioner, was elected president of the National Farmers Union today.

Johnson takes over the post immediately. He says he will resign as North Dakota's ag commissioner, an elected position that he has held since 1997.

Gov. John Hoeven will appoint someone to fill out Johnson's term. Johnson, a Democrat, had suggested his deputy commissioner be named to the post. But Gov. Hoeven, a Republican, has said he will likely choose a Republican. One of the contenders for the office is Doug Goehring, Menonken, who ran against Johnson in 2004 and 2006. Goehring is the former vice-president of the North Dakota Farm Bureau.

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., was one of the first to congratulate Johnson.

"It is a huge victory for every North Dakota producer to have one of their own at the helm of the National Farmers Union," he said in a statement released by his office. "Roger will be in a unique position to make agriculture work for the country."

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