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Forschen elected Chairman of North Dakota State Legislative Board

CLEVELAND, January 23 — Brother Sean M. Forschen was elected by acclamation to his first term as Chairman of the BLET’s North Dakota State Legislative Board during its quadrennial meeting in Bismarck, N.D., January 8-9, 2020.

Brother Forschen is a BNSF locomotive engineer and Legislative Representative of BLET Division 746 (Mandan, N.D.). He hired out with the BNSF on February 28, 2005, and earned promotion to locomotive engineer on November 11, 2008. He joined the BLET on May 1, 2013. Brother Forschen was elected to serve the North Dakota SLB as Trustee during the 2016 quadrennial meeting.

Also elected by acclamation during the quadrennial meeting were: 1st Vice Chairman and Trustee Charlie Weick, Division 160 (Harvey, N.D.); Secretary-Treasurer Darin L. Hamre, Division 671 (Enderlin, N.D.); Trustee Terry L. Pauli, Division 69 (Grand Forks, N.D.); and Chad D. Haugtvedt, Division 695 (Minot, N.D.). Brother Weick, the outgoing North Dakota State Legislative Board Chairman, did not seek reelection due to his pending retirement. He served two terms as Chairman, winning elections in 2012 and 2016.

BLET Vice President and National Legislative Representative John P. Tolman represented the National Division at the meeting.

“I am proud to congratulate Sean Forschen and all officers of the North Dakota State Legislative Board, and I thank them for their service to the Brotherhood,” BLET National Division President Dennis R. Pierce said. “I also thank Brother Charlie Weick for the dedication and leadership he displayed during his two terms as Chairman, and wish him all the best as he nears retirement in the next few years.”

Additional BLET members in attendance included: D.B. Kenner, Montana State Legislative Board Chairman, and Mike Muscha, former North Dakota State Legislative Board Chairman. Brother Muscha’s wife, Naomi Muscha, was in attendance representing the BLET Auxiliary.

Guest speakers included: Andrew Bushaw, Field Director of the North Dakota AFL-CIO; Ross Keys, Representative from the Alliance For A Better North Dakota; State Senator Erin Oban (D-35), Minority Caucus Leader; and State Representative Josh Boschee (D-44), the North Dakota House Minority Leader.

The Board handled regular business and discussed a variety of topics, including the two-person crew bill, which is of great importance to the membership and general public of North Dakota due to the vast number of oil trans that traverse the state via BNSF and CP Rail.

Brother Forschen is a second generation locomotive engineer. His father, Mike Forschen, worked for the CP Rail from 1978-2011 and is a retired member of BLET Division 160. Brother Forschen and his wife, Shari, have two children: Mariah, 21, and Noah, 15. He is a third generation combat veteran, having served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1998 to 2006 and being deployed to Iraq in 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His father fought in Vietnam and his grandfather fought in World War II.

The North Dakota State Legislative Board represents more than 530 active and retired members from five different BLET Divisions in North Dakota.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

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