When he was on the campaign trail, Doug Burgum told North Dakotans he was an outsider.
This week he found himself on the outside of the state Senate chamber because the jeans he was wearing did not meet their dress code, the Associated Press reports.
The AP says Burgum had just finished posing for a photo with some visiting high school students on Wednesday when he was asked to leave the Senate because of his inappropriate attire. A spokesman for the governor said Burgrum meant no disrespect to the chamber’s rules.
Known for skipping the suit and tie
Burgrum is a former software executive who had never run for state office before getting elected governor in November.
He announced his candidacy more than a year ago while wearing jeans and a business casual shirt, Forum News Service reported, adding that Burgrum “famously shuns suit-and-tie.”
They don’t do that in the state Senate, though. In fact, they’ve recently recommitted to their dress code. Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (like Burgrum, a Republican) told Forum News columnist Rob Port the governor was aware of the no jeans policy “because we’ve been kind of trying to enforce that rule.”
Port suggested on his blog last month that legislators unhappy with Gov. Burgrum’s attire should “get over it.”
Sen. Wardner told Port there was nothing confrontational about the scene when the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms asked Gov. Burgrum to leave the chamber Wednesday.