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Meet Retha

District 7 House

Retha Mattern has a strong sense of community and a desire for servant leadership. These values have shaped her actions and purpose, leading her to seek election to the North Dakota State Legislature as a representative from District 7.  

Retha believes in sensible, practical government that allows people to achieve success with limited government involvement. She believes the legislature should focus on investments over expenses while giving space for businesses to grow and create opportunities for economic success. She values community safety and well-being, and is committed to continuing to make Bismarck and North Dakota a place for families to choose to live. 

Retha moved to Bismarck shortly after graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park with a bachelor's degree in Journalism. After working for several years at a local television affiliate, she decided to make Bismarck a permanent home. Retha has now lived in Bismarck longer than any other city, having been raised in a military family and experiencing frequent moves throughout her childhood. Her father retired as a colonel after serving for 30 years in the US Army. 

She then transitioned her career into higher education, and now works as the Director of Admissions & Outreach at Bismarck State College, where she previously served as the Director of the Great Plains Energy Corridor and as the Business & Outreach Coordinator for BSC's National Energy Center of Excellence. She completed a Masters in Management from Minot State University. She has served as a member of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education for three years, having been elected by her peers to serve yearly terms as the staff advisor. These experiences have shown her how technical and career-focused training can add to traditional educational pathways in order to meet workforce needs in North Dakota.


Retha is active in the state Republican party, serving as District 7 Vice Chairman, frequently attending local events, and has served as a delegate to several state conventions.

Retha and her husband Mark live in Bismarck with their two children, Clara (age 9) and Finn (age 7). They are involved with Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Bismarck Hockey Boosters, and Bismarck Aquastorm.

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