FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, April 3, 2016

For more information, contact:
Jon Godfread

jon@godfreadfornd.com
701.330.3902

Godfread Earns Republican Endorsement for North Dakota Insurance Commissioner

FARGO, N.D. – Jon Godfread was endorsed today by the North Dakota Republican Party (NDGOP) to be the state’s next Insurance Commissioner. Nominated by Fargo business-owner Bernie Dardis and former Tax Commissioner Cory Fong, Godfread’s endorsement happened as part of the NDGOP’s 2016 state convention in Fargo.

“This was an outstanding weekend with almost 2,000 dedicated North Dakotans voicing their opinions for the future of the state and I am very honored to earn their endorsement for Insurance Commissioner,” Godfread said. “Since announcing my candidacy in January, I have put on roughly 6,000 miles traveling across the state to talk to voters. But, this is only the beginning and I look forward to all the steps ahead.”

Godfread is vice president of government affairs for the Greater North Dakota Chamber (GNDC), representing statewide business interests to the legislature, executive branch officials, and to companies looking to operate in North Dakota. During his time at the GNDC, Jon has made a difference as the voice for North Dakota business:

  • Led the GNDC’s grassroots efforts to defeat Measure 2 on the statewide ballot in June 2012, which would have abolished property taxes.
  • Heavily involved in the creation of the North Dakota Outdoor Heritage Fund and its advisory board, where he currently serves as vice chair. He partnered with members of the agriculture, conservation, energy and business communities to effect this legislation during the 2013 session.
  • Served as a lead proponent of significant across-the-board tax reductions. His efforts helped promote and pass the largest tax cuts in state history.
  • In 2014, Jon served as chair of North Dakotans for Common Sense Conservation, which successfully defeated Measure 5,
  • He is also the GNDC’s representative for education initiatives including Succeed 2020 and the National Math and Science Initiative.

Married with two young children, he also serves on the North Dakota Special Olympics board of directors and was the first North Dakotan named to the prestigious American Swiss Foundation’s Young Leaders. 

“My work at the Greater North Dakota Chamber has allowed me to represent consumers and businesses to regulators, insurance companies and the legislature to ensure they understand what effect a change in insurance policy can mean to not only the consumer, but the economy as a whole.  This experience uniquely qualifies me to be the watchdog for the North Dakota consumer.  What it boils down to is, insurance is a promise to pay, the insurance commissioner is the guardian of that promise, with my experience, I am qualified to be the advocate for the North Dakota Consumer.

"In addition to protecting consumers, it’s important for the Insurance Commissioner to work with licensed agents and producers, who are some of the most critical, knowledgeable people in the field.  I will ensure the citizens of North Dakota deal with agents who are competent, informed and follow the law, and those who don't are held accountable.  My experience and education give me the tools to be the fair but firm regulator consumers and agents need.  Businesses thrive on certainty and my promise to the insurance industry is to be fair, reasonable, and accessible.”

For more information, visit www.godfreadfornd.com.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 13, 2016

For more information, contact:
Jon Godfread
701.330.3902

jon@godfreadfornd.com

Godfread Announces Run for North Dakota Insurance Commissioner

BISMARCK, N.D. --- Jon Godfread, vice president of government affairs for the Greater North Dakota Chamber, today announced his candidacy for North Dakota Insurance Commissioner. He will be seeking the Republican nomination at the NDGOP Convention in April.

“Job number one of the North Dakota Insurance Commissioner is to ensure that consumers in our state are properly protected and educated about the insurance they purchase,” Godfread said. “The North Dakota Insurance Department has done a solid job of ensuring our citizens are treated fairly and can afford the insurance they need to operate in their daily lives. We must make sure that continues and I am right candidate to get the job done.”

Insurance affects every part of the state’s economy and the businesses across North Dakota are some of the largest consumers of insurance products. In Jon’s work at the Greater North Dakota Chamber, his role has been to represent those consumers and to ensure that regulators understand what effect increased rates can play on individual businesses and the economy as a whole. This is important because the rising cost of health insurance is the number-one threat to small businesses across the state. More money paid in insurance premiums means less expansion, fewer jobs, and can mean the difference between remaining open or closing your doors. 

“When the market does well, competition increases, and consumers have more options and often lower prices. It is important that the providers in our state know the rules will be consistently enforced -- but they also need to know that North Dakota is a state founded in opportunity. We do not look at business as something that should be taxed and regulated to death, rather we look at it as the lifeblood to our economy and future success.”

Equally important in the Insurance Commissioner’s Office is for consumers and agents to know that the office is not just a regulator of their industry, but also a resource.  The Insurance Commissioner should be accessible to consumers and agents alike.

“It’s important that consumers and agents know their Insurance Commissioner and know I am open to their ideas.  In fact, some of the best resources I will call upon are those individuals who are out in the business world, working with these products on a day-to-day basis.

“The best Insurance Commissioner is one that protects consumers through vigorous defense of their rights and pocketbook, fosters a marketplace with fair and consistent regulation, and is accessible to consumers and agents to make sure regulations make sense.  It is this common sense approach that I will bring to the North Dakota Insurance Commissioner’s Office.  If elected, I will work hard for the citizens of North Dakota to be the fair, consistent, and accessible Insurance Commissioner they deserve.”

About Jon Godfread

Jon Godfread currently serves as vice president of government affairs for the Greater North Dakota Chamber, representing statewide business interests to the legislature, executive branch officials, and to companies looking to operate in North Dakota.

Notable accomplishments include leading the GNDC’s grassroots efforts to defeat Measure 2 on the statewide ballot in June 2012, which would have abolished property taxes. The measure was defeated 77%-23%. Jon was also heavily involved in the creation of the North Dakota Outdoor Heritage Fund and its advisory board, where he currently serves as vice chair. He partnered with members of the agriculture, conservation, energy and business communities to effect this legislation during the 2013 session. Also during that session, Jon was a lead proponent of significant across-the-board tax reductions. His efforts helped promote and pass the largest tax cuts in state history. In 2014, Jon served as chair of North Dakotans for Common Sense Conservation, which successfully defeated Measure 5, 79%-21%. He is also the GNDC’s representative for education initiatives including Succeed 2020 and the National Math and Science Initiative.

For his work, Jon was honored as the first North Dakotan to be selected for the prestigious American Swiss Foundation’s Young Leaders Conference in 2015.

Prior to his time with the Chamber, Jon earned a law degree and MBA from the University of North Dakota. He was able to study abroad in Austria under U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, was a member of the North Dakota Law Review, and a legislative intern for the North Dakota 2009 Legislative session, working on the House Finance and Tax Committee. In his final year of study, Jon worked full time as a legislative aide to the State Tax Department.

From 2005-2007, Jon worked for Alerus Financial in Grand Forks as branch manager and a personal banker.

Jon also played professional basketball in Ehingen, Germany, after graduating with honors from the University of Northern Iowa.

As a lifelong resident of North Dakota, community service is important to Jon. He serves as a member of the North Dakota Special Olympics board of directors, for which he volunteered while growing up in Grand Forks. He is also a member of the Bismarck-Mandan Sports Commission and attends Charity Lutheran Church.

Jon and his wife, Amanda, live in Bismarck and have two young children. For more information, visit www.godfreadfornd.com.

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Paid for by Friends of Jon Godfread, Bernie Dardis, Treasurer.