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Takeaways: How Trump’s possible VP pick shifted on LGBTQ+ issues as his presidential bid neared

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum is little-known on the national stage but is now a top choice to be former President Donald Trump’ s vice presidential running mate.

The wealthy software entrepreneur has led North Dakota like a CEO. He’s championed business-oriented items such as income tax cuts and tech upgrades for state government, from cybersecurity to state websites. He has not been outspoken on social issues, even as the state’s Republican-led Legislature sent him a flurry of anti-LGBTQ+ bills last year. But after vetoing some of the bills in 2021 and 2023, he later signed most of them — around the same time he was preparing a 2024 presidential bid that fizzled within months.

Here are some takeaways on Burgum and his actions:

From small-town roots, Burgum became a wealthy executive

Burgum, 67, grew up in a tiny North Dakota town. After college, he led Great Plains Software, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2001 for $1.1 billion. Burgum stayed on as a vice president with Microsoft until 2007. He went on to lead other companies in real estate development and venture capital.

Burgum was largely known as a software executive and businessman before his upset campaign for governor in 2016 when he beat the state’s longtime attorney general in the GOP primary. He ran on “reinventing” government as the state grappled with a $1 billion revenue shortfall.

As governor, his focus was on economic, not social issues

Burgum campaigned in 2016 as a business leader and has governed with the same approach. He’s talked about “treating taxpayers like customers.” He brought some Microsoft veterans and other private-sector people into state government.

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