Ryan Cunningham has spent a career as much outside of a studio as in it. Starting as a nighttime announcer and sports broadcaster at KOVC in his hometown of Valley City, ND, he moved to stations throughout the midwest with the same company, before becoming the voice of Delta State University sports in Cleveland, MS in 2000. He returned to Valley City, and spent 12 years there before coming to KNOX in 2012.
Ryan can be heard on KNOX from 12 PM to 3 PM weekdays, and also during local sports broadcasts. He is a two-time North Dakota Broadcasters Association "Teddy" award winner for best play-by-play coverage.
Ryan cunningham blog
18 MARCH 2018: Some takeaways from the 2018 North Dakota Democratic NPL Convention, at least, according to one talk host.
1) RACES THEY CAN WIN
Its clear Mac Schneider is still a favorite among Democrats, and a threat to Republicans. After entering the race late in the game, he picked up the party's nomination for Congress over state senator John Grabinger and Ben Hanson, who had been campaigning since August.
Immediately, the grumbling began, with reports of one candidate vowing not to support Schneider, and Republican operatives trying to create dissent among Democrats in the hours after the convention. Conservative pundit Rob Port was the lead voice, opining that Hanson was "sandbagged" by the party.
The obvious conclusion: Democrats made a wise choice in the form of the former Senate Minority Leader with name recognition. He has a positive track record with his party and can attract Democrats at a time where they are looking to be attracted, while the GOP has a couple of candidates that have roots to a legislature that broke the North Dakota bank during high oil prices.
The question is: will Schneider receive any national support in a race he could win at a time when Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are more concerned with holding Heidi Heitkamp's seat? Time will tell, but the strong reaction from the right in North Dakota, and the willingness to play ally to claims of sandbagging are proof that they consider Schneider a threat. I wonder how Rick Becker was treated when he challenged Wayne Stenehjem for the party's nomination for governor two years ago, a race neither ended up winning.
2) RACES THAT CREATE IMMEDIATE PRESSURE
Kylie Oversen entering the Tax Commissioner's race is a concern for Republicans, not just because she's a quality candidate, but because her opponent is damaged goods.
Ryan Rauschenberger announced his re-election campaign a little more than 100 days after his arrest for DUI, his second miscue with booze during his term, after loaning his car to a drunk buddy after a sesh of day-drinking, leading to an accident.
Oversen is the party's chairperson. She also has name recognition statewide, and will, if she chooses, be able to use Governor Burgum's own policies to damage Rauschenberger. Burgum has unveiled his "Vision Zero" policy for highway safety, and has even endorsed primary offense seat belt laws.
Those policies do not mix well with a DUI-prone state office holder that North Dakotans are right to question if he can even drive a state government vehicle.
The question is: will Oversen play this card? Conventional wisdom tells us she won't. North Dakota candidates always take the too-high road on these matters. It may be different for Oversen. She lost her job as a legislator to a candidate that got busted for drunk driving about 100 days before the election. Republicans have a problem with the sauce, and Burgum has given Oversen the absolute perfect timing to talk about it. The GOP may want to strongly seek a convention challenger for Rauschenberger.
3) SPECIAL INTERESTS
There was a Nick Archuleta sighting at the Alerus Center Saturday.
For those of you that don't know, Archuleta is the head of ND United, the union for public employees.
Since President Trump's election, most of Archuleta's time has been spent eviscerating Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for her support of private schools, as well as claiming that blowing the state education budget to $2 billion has saved taxpayers money.
It's no surprise Archuleta is a Democrat, and it's no surprise that a union head would lobby at a state convention. That's his job.
The question is: will Archuleta be back in Grand Forks next month for the GOP convention? He represents thousands of teachers and public employees. In 2019, no matter the outcome, those employees will be dependent on a Republican legislature and governor for their paychecks, in a state that heavily supports Trump. An anti-Trump shill doesn't get a warm reception from Trump's party.