Who is Doug Burgum, North Dakota governor and potential Trump running mate?

The independently wealthy North Dakota governor has become a Trump surrogate.

July 11, 2024, 5:09 AM

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has come a long way since his failed presidential bid late last year. Now, he's one of the top candidates under consideration for being former President Donald Trump's running mate.

Burgum was born in Arthur, North Dakota, and attended North Dakota State University and Stanford Business School.

In 1983, Burgum invested in a small tech startup, Great Plains Software and would later become the company's president in 1984. Burgum sold the company to Microsoft for over $1 billion in 2001, becoming independently wealthy from his business career.

In 2016, Burgum launched his campaign to become governor of North Dakota. He entered the race with no political experience, but won the election in November 2016 and was sworn in as governor in December 2016.

Burgum won his gubernatorial reelection with more than 65% of the vote in November 2020.

Former President Donald Trump and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum attend a caucus night rally in Las Vegas, Feb. 8, 2024.
Alex Brandon/AP/FILE

Burgum announced last January that he would not seek a third term as governor of North Dakota. In June 2024, he announced his candidacy for president of the United States.

Burgum entered the race as an underdog and struggled to raise money, donating millions to his own campaign.

Some of the key issues Burgum discussed on the campaign trail were the economy, energy and national security.

Burgum participated in two GOP primary debates. In order to get on the first debate stage, Burgum gifted $20 gift cards to 50,000 people who gave $1 to his campaign.

During the second debate, Burgum poured more money into ad buys and another gift card giveaway to reach the RNC's donor threshold. He failed to make the cut for the third GOP primary debate.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum speaks to members of the press on the day of the first presidential debate hosted by CNN in Atlanta, GA, June 27, 2024.
Marco Bello/Reuters

Burgum suspended his campaign in December 2023.

Burgum endorsed Trump in the 2024 election and became one of his busiest surrogates, campaigning for the former president and raising money for his reelection campaign.

Trump is expected to announce his running mate soon. His senior adviser, Jason Miller, said Monday that Trump could announce his choice "any time this week" as the Republican National Convention approaches on July 15.

As Trump considers Burgum for the role, the former president indicated in a Fox News interview Wednesday morning that the issue of abortion will play a role in his decision.

Asked in the interview if Burgum's signature on a six-week abortion ban last April would be an issue, Trump answered, a "little bit."

Burgum resides in North Dakota and is married to his wife, Kathryn. He has two sons and one daughter from a previous marriage.

Read ABC News' profiles of other top vice presidential hopefuls, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance.