Ex-Miss America Mund's entry pushes Dem out of ND House race

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Former Miss America Cara Mund's entry into North Dakota's U.S. House race has led the Democratic candidate to drop out, citing pressure from his own party to step aside.

Mund entered the race in August as an independent, citing her support for abortion rights as a major reason. Tuesday was the deadline for her to submit 1,000 petitions to qualify for the ballot.

North Dakota's only House seat is currently held by GOP Rep. Kelly Armstrong, who won his second term in the deeply conservative state in 2020 with 69% of the vote. Armstrong opposes abortion rights.

Haugen opposes abortion rights and said Sunday that his stance cost him support in the party, the Bismarck Tribune reported. He said he didn't see a path to winning.

Democratic-NPL Party Chairman Patrick Hart said in a statement that he doesn't "tell anyone what to do,” but that he supports Haugen's decision to drop out.

Haugen, a University of Mary graduate adviser in Bismarck who has long worked as a paramedic, faced no opposition in the Democratic primary in June.

Mund is a Bismarck native and Harvard Law School graduate who was the 2018 Miss America.

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This story was corrected to show that Armstrong is seeking his third term, not his second.

The Associated Press