North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, heralded by some as the rising star of Republican politics, may not share in Wednesday’s first GOP presidential debate as scheduled.
Burgum suffered a leg injury in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, while playing basketball with his staff.
The governor, a billionaire and former software developer, has largely personally funded his campaign, spending more than $8 million of his own funds in the last quarter alone.
The governor was one of eight GOP presidential candidates invited to share in the Fox News-hosted debate, scheduled for 9 p.m. ET.
Early Wednesday, Fox News noted that it is unclear if Burgum will be able to stand at the debate.”
Burgum is not giving in to his injury easily: “I mean, if you’re going to lead this country, you ought to be able to stand on one leg for 2 hours. You know, it’s not Dancing with the Stars. I mean, come on.”
Fox reported: “Burgum qualified for the debate by earning 3% support in the Fox News Iowa poll but has otherwise remained a relatively obscure figure in national politics.”
The injury occurred on Tuesday — forcing the governor to receive treatment at a local hospital ER. He was treated and released later that evening.
Though successful and well-known in his home state, the debate was an opportunity for the long shot candidate to become known on a national level.
Burgum said in an interview with Fox News Digital: “[The debate is] obviously an opportunity for us because…of the eight candidates who’ve made the stage, we’re the least well known. By definition that gives us the most upside.”
Notably, one Iowa poll showed his support level rising in recent weeks.
Undeterred and determined to press on, Burgum said: “One thing is clear, though – politics is a tough game, and it’s not for the faint of heart.”
Burgum, 67, became governor of North Dakota in 2016. The then first-time candidate was a long shot at that time, but won the election decisively, and hopes to repeat the performance in 2024.
Many eyes will be watching to see if Burgum is able to share in the first GOP debate.
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