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Ex-Microsoft exec Burgum may run for governor of North Dakota

Microsoft Business Solutions Convergence 2005 with Bill GatesMicrosoft Business Solutions Convergence 2005 with Bill Gates
Doug Burgum (right) with Bill Gates.Photograph by R. Born — WireImage/Getty Images

Doug Burgum, the Microsoft exec who led that company’s business applications push, may run for governor of his home state of North Dakota, according to a local news report.

Burgum, a North Dakota native and graduate of North Dakota State University, ran Great Plains Software, a privately held maker of accounting and financial management packages before selling it to Microsoft (MSFT) in 2000 for $1.1 billion in stock.

Based in Fargo, N.D., Great Plains became the foundation of Microsoft’s Dynamics applications lineup. Burgum left Microsoft in 2007 and is currently a partner with Arthur Ventures, a Fargo, N.D.-based venture capital company, and chairman of Kilbourne Group, which works to revitalize downtown Fargo.

Burgum reportedly said he would consider a run now that the incumbent governor Jack Dalyrimple, a friend of his, has decided not to stand for re-election.

Lieutenant Governor Drew Wrigley and Attorney General Wayne Stenhejem, are also considered possible candidates. On the other side of the aisle there is talk that current U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp might run as a Democrat.

Burgum, who met former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer while both were at Stanford Business School, was also a director of SuccessFactors, a business software company bought by SAP (SAP) three years ago for $3.4 billion.

Burgum has not yet responded to Fortune’s request for comment, but this story will be updated.

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