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North Dakota Gov. Burgum may miss GOP presidential debate after hurting himself playing basketball

Aug 23, 2023, 7:14 AM

Republican presidential candidate North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks at the Republican Party of I...

Republican presidential candidate North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks at the Republican Party of Iowa's 2023 Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday, July 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum may not be able to participate in Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate after he injured himself playing basketball and was taken to the emergency room.

Campaign spokesman Lance Trover said Wednesday that it was “unclear if he will be able to stand at the debate.” He didn’t say what type of injury it was but said Burgum’s team would have more information later. The injury, which occurred Tuesday while Burgum was playing with campaign staff, was first reported by CNN.

Missing the debate would be a massive setback for Burgum, who is the least known of the eight candidates expected to take the stage in Milwaukee on Wednesday night. The first debate of the GOP primary, which early front-runner Donald Trump has said he’s skipping, is his best opportunity for Burgum to introduce himself to voters.

Burgum, a wealthy businessman, qualified for the debate after offering $20 gift cards to donors who gave his campaign a $1 contribution — helping him meet a requirement for the number of donors set by the Republican National Committee for participation.

The governor, who’s 67, had a hip replacement surgery in 2021.

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North Dakota Gov. Burgum may miss GOP presidential debate after hurting himself playing basketball