February 12, 2008

Hacker Will Not Seek Re-Election to N.D. Legislature

By Kevin Bonham, Grand Forks Herald, N.D.

Feb. 12--State Sen. Nick Hacker, R-Grand Forks, will not seek re-election to a second four-year term in District 42.

Meanwhile, another young Republican, Nate Martindale, will seek the office. Both addressed the Grand Forks County Republican Convention on Monday evening.

Martindale, 23, a former UND student president, currently is serving a one-year term as student representative on the state Board of Higher Education. That term ends in June.

Hacker, 26, was the youngest person ever to be elected to the North Dakota Senate in 2004.

"It's not an easy decision," he said of declining to seek re-election. "I went through some life-changing events in the past year and a half."

Hacker's wife, Elizabeth Jean Granlund Hacker, died in November 2006, at age 23 after a two-month battle with a rare blood disorder.

Hacker, who graduated from UND with a finance and entrepreneurship degree, also served as a member of the North Dakota Higher Education Roundtable.

Currently, he is business development manager for The Marcil Group, a Fargo-based real estate development company. Based in Grand Forks, his role involves property acquisition in the northern Red River Valley.

"My role in the company is growing with the development of the company," he said.

The company is in the process of acquiring 560 acres of land from Greenberg Enterprises. The land is in south Grand Forks, some along Columbia Road near Kings Walk Golf Course, some south of the SuperTarget department store. It's a mix of commercial and residential property.

Hacker said he would continue to live and work in Grand Forks.

"I really liked the Legislature," he said. "This isn't necessarily closing the door on the future in politics. I hope to serve the community in other fashions as well.

"What I'm going to miss most is serving individuals in the community," he said. "Serving in the legislature was rewarding. But the most rewarding for me was helping individuals on a personal level."

Martindale will finish his undergraduate studies in May, with a degree in business management. He plans to enroll in law school some time in the future.

"Politics is kind of a timely situation," he said. "When I found out about the opening, I thought it would be a great opportunity. It's an exciting time. I plan to work hard, and I know it won't be an easy pass there."

Reach Bonham at (701) 780-1269, (800) 477-6572 ext. 269 or [email protected]">[email protected]


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