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After DUI arrest, school superintendent signs wine bottles for political fundraiser

JAMESTOWN, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota Republicans auctioned bottles of wine named for and signed by North Dakota Superintendent Kirsten Baesler just days after she was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.

North Dakota District 12 and 29 Republicans held their Lincoln Day dinner last weekend. House Majority Leader Chet Pollert says that for years the dinner has included a wine auction as a fundraiser for candidates.

Eleven bottles of “Baesler’s Bulldog Red” and “Superintendent Baesler’s Honor Roll White” were auctioned. The Bismarck Tribune says Baesler signed the bottles Saturday – three days after her arrest on suspicion of driving drunk.

According to Sgt. Wade Kadrmas with the North Dakota Highway Patrol, a tooper pulled Baesler over after she exited from westbound I-94 onto Memorial Highway in Mandan, ND on March 4 at around 9:45p.m. after observing erratic driving. The trooper smelled alcohol and observed behavior consistent with alcohol consumption while talking to Baesler during the stop. Baesler was arrested for driving under the influence and cited for care required.

According to Sgt. Kadrmas, Baesler refused blood and breath tests at the Burleigh-Morton Detention Center. Burleigh County Sheriff Kelly Leben says Baesler was processed at the Burleigh-Morton Detention Center. She was not formally booked into the jail facility and was  released to a responsible party on a promise to appear.

Baesler was first elected the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2012. The 50-year-old superintendent has said she plans to seek another term.


It’s not Baesler’s first encounter with law enforcement while in public office. Court records show Baesler was cited in 2018 for four traffic violations, including two speeding citations, following too closely and care required in operating a motor vehicle. She was arrested n 2015 after a domestic assault incident at her home in Mandan. She was accused of simple assault, a charge that was later dropped

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