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Quick Facts
Personal Details

Ruth Buffalo (Democrat) is a member of the North Dakota House of Representatives, representing District 27. Buffalo was elected to the office on November 6, 2018.


Buffalo was a 2016 Democratic candidate for insurance commissioner of North Dakota. She was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. She was defeated in the general election on November 8, 2016.

Buffalo was born and raised in Mandaree, North Dakota.

Education

Buffalo has masters degrees in public health, management, and business administration.

Education

  • BA, Criminal Justice
  • Certified, Leadership, Organizing, and Action, Harvard University, 2017
  • MPH, Public Health, North Dakota State University, 2014-2016
  • Attended, Public Health, University of Kansas Medical Center, 2011-2013
  • MA, Management, University of Mary, 2004-2005
  • MBA, Business Administration, University of Mary, 2004-2005
  • Bachelors, Criminal Justice, Si Tanka University, 2000-2002

Professional Experience

  • BA, Criminal Justice
  • Certified, Leadership, Organizing, and Action, Harvard University, 2017
  • MPH, Public Health, North Dakota State University, 2014-2016
  • Attended, Public Health, University of Kansas Medical Center, 2011-2013
  • MA, Management, University of Mary, 2004-2005
  • MBA, Business Administration, University of Mary, 2004-2005
  • Bachelors, Criminal Justice, Si Tanka University, 2000-2002
  • Special Projects Coordinator, First Nations Women's Alliance, 2018-present
  • Owner, RBZ Barbershop, 2014-present
  • Outreach and Communications Coordinator, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 2017
  • Outreach Director, Honor the Health, 2017
  • Practicum Student, North Dakota Department of Health, 2015
  • Consultant, Three Affiliated Tribes: Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, 2015
  • Intern, Kansas State Legislature, 2014
  • Program Administrator, Three Affiliated Tribes: Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Summer Youth Employment Program, 2011-2014
  • Strengthening Lifestyles Director, United Tribes Technical College, 2004-2011

Political Experience

  • BA, Criminal Justice
  • Certified, Leadership, Organizing, and Action, Harvard University, 2017
  • MPH, Public Health, North Dakota State University, 2014-2016
  • Attended, Public Health, University of Kansas Medical Center, 2011-2013
  • MA, Management, University of Mary, 2004-2005
  • MBA, Business Administration, University of Mary, 2004-2005
  • Bachelors, Criminal Justice, Si Tanka University, 2000-2002
  • Special Projects Coordinator, First Nations Women's Alliance, 2018-present
  • Owner, RBZ Barbershop, 2014-present
  • Outreach and Communications Coordinator, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 2017
  • Outreach Director, Honor the Health, 2017
  • Practicum Student, North Dakota Department of Health, 2015
  • Consultant, Three Affiliated Tribes: Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, 2015
  • Intern, Kansas State Legislature, 2014
  • Program Administrator, Three Affiliated Tribes: Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Summer Youth Employment Program, 2011-2014
  • Strengthening Lifestyles Director, United Tribes Technical College, 2004-2011
  • Representative, North Dakota State House of Representatives, District 27, 2018-present
  • Candidate, North Dakota State House of Representatives, District 27, 2018

Current Legislative Committees

Member, Agriculture Committee

Member, Committee on Committees

Member, Joint Judiciary Committee

Member, Judiciary Committee

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

  • BA, Criminal Justice
  • Certified, Leadership, Organizing, and Action, Harvard University, 2017
  • MPH, Public Health, North Dakota State University, 2014-2016
  • Attended, Public Health, University of Kansas Medical Center, 2011-2013
  • MA, Management, University of Mary, 2004-2005
  • MBA, Business Administration, University of Mary, 2004-2005
  • Bachelors, Criminal Justice, Si Tanka University, 2000-2002
  • Special Projects Coordinator, First Nations Women's Alliance, 2018-present
  • Owner, RBZ Barbershop, 2014-present
  • Outreach and Communications Coordinator, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 2017
  • Outreach Director, Honor the Health, 2017
  • Practicum Student, North Dakota Department of Health, 2015
  • Consultant, Three Affiliated Tribes: Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, 2015
  • Intern, Kansas State Legislature, 2014
  • Program Administrator, Three Affiliated Tribes: Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Summer Youth Employment Program, 2011-2014
  • Strengthening Lifestyles Director, United Tribes Technical College, 2004-2011
  • Representative, North Dakota State House of Representatives, District 27, 2018-present
  • Candidate, North Dakota State House of Representatives, District 27, 2018
  • Co-Advisor, Native American Student Association, North Dakota State University, 2018-present
  • Chair, North Dakota Human Rights Coalition, 2017-present
  • Member, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, Tribal Outreach Task Force Committee, 2017-present
  • Member, National Congress of American Indians, 2016-present
  • Member, North Dakota Human Rights Coalition, Legislative Affairs Committee, 2016-present
  • Member, Center for Technology and Business, 2015-present
  • Indian Education Tutor, Fargo Public Schools, 2015-present
  • Member, Junior League of Fargo Moorhead, 2015-present
  • Member, Native Research Network, 2015-present
  • Member, North Dakota Public Health Association, 2014-present
  • Member, National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition
  • Member, Fargo Native American Commission, 2016-2018
  • Member, Planned Parenthhood, North Dakota Advisory Committee, 2016-2018
  • Member, North Dakota Women's Network, Ready to Run Committee Member, 2017
  • Member, North Dakota Women's Network, We Rise Committee, 2016-2017
  • Member, National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, 2016
  • Alumni, Center for Technology and Business, Women's Leadership Program, 2015
  • Basketball Coach, Young Men's Christian Association of Topeka, 2011-2013
  • Tai Chi Instructor, Haskell Indian Nations University, 2012
  • Basketball Coach, Missouri Valley Family Young Men's Christian Association, 2009-2011
  • Alumni, Tri College New Womens Leadership Institute, 2011
Elections

2018

General election
General election for North Dakota House of Representatives District 27 (2 seats)

Incumbent Thomas Beadle (R) and Ruth Buffalo (D) defeated incumbent Randy Boehning (R) and Jon Kitzman (D) in the general election for North Dakota House of Representatives District 27 on November 6, 2018.

Candidate
%
Votes

Thomas Beadle (R)
27.2
4,150

Ruth Buffalo (D)
25.8
3,930

Randy Boehning (R)
24.5
3,741

Silhouette Placeholder Image.png

Jon Kitzman (D)
22.4
3,425
Other/Write-in votes
0.1
15

Total votes: 15,261
Democratic primary election
Democratic primary for North Dakota House of Representatives District 27 (2 seats)

Ruth Buffalo and Jon Kitzman advanced from the Democratic primary for North Dakota House of Representatives District 27 on June 12, 2018.

Candidate
%
Votes

Ruth Buffalo (D)
54.4
510

Silhouette Placeholder Image.png

Jon Kitzman (D)
45.6
428

Total votes: 938
Republican primary election
Republican primary for North Dakota House of Representatives District 27 (2 seats)

Incumbent Thomas Beadle and incumbent Randy Boehning advanced from the Republican primary for North Dakota House of Representatives District 27 on June 12, 2018.

Candidate
%
Votes

Thomas Beadle (R)
50.1
550

Randy Boehning (R)
49.9
547

Total votes: 1,097


2016

Buffalo ran as a Democrat for North Dakota insurance commissioner in 2016. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary election and faced Jon Godfread (R) and Nick Bata (Lib.) in the November 8 general election.

Jon Godfread defeated Ruth Buffalo and Nick Bata in the North Dakota insurance commissioner election.
North Dakota Insurance Commissioner, 2016
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
Republican Green check mark transparent.png Jon Godfread 64.41% 206,067
Democratic/Democrat-Nonpartisan League Ruth Buffalo 26.79% 85,696
Libertarian Nick Bata 8.64% 27,642
Write-in votes 0.17% 534
Total Votes 319,939
Source: North Dakota Secretary of State
Ruth Buffalo ran unopposed in the Democratic primary for insurance commissioner.
Democratic primary for insurance commissioner, 2016
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Ruth Buffalo (unopposed) 99.86% 16,647
Write-in votes 0.14% 24
Total Votes (432 of 432 precincts reporting) 16,671
Source: North Dakota Secretary of State

Campaign themes

Buffalo's campaign website stated that as commissioner, she would:

  • Reform our Workers Safety and Insurance program
  • Increase coverage and access to mental health services for those who are currently falling through the cracks and directly into our prison system
  • Increase coverage for access to substance abuse treatment centers
Events

2020

Sep. 25
Biden/Harris sign distribution

Fri 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM CDT

Cass County Democratic-NPL Fargo, ND

Jul. 21