ND’s Burgum to repay $37K for Super Bowl suite

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said Wednesday he will repay a Minnesota electric utility $37,000 for tickets the company provided him and his wife for Sunday’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis.

The Republican governor said he would reimburse Xcel Energy “to eliminate even the perception of any conflict.”

Burgum and first lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum watched the game from a suite provided by Xcel, which serves more than 90,000 customers in Grand Forks, Fargo and Minot. He said before going that he planned to use the opportunity to talk with Xcel officials about their service and infrastructure in North Dakota.

The trip drew criticism even from within his own party.

“We can’t be doing that,” GOP Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner said. “I don’t think the governor was influenced in any way but we as state officials just need to use good judgment.

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