Schafer served as North Dakota's governor from 1992 to 2000 and made diversifying and expanding North Dakota's economy, reducing the cost of government and advancing agriculture his top priorities in office.
Before entering public life, Schafer was an executive with the Gold Seal Company in Bismarck, a successful marketer of nationally-known consumer products such as "Mr. Bubble" bubble bath, "Glass Wax" glass cleaner and "Snowy Bleach." The company had been founded by his father, Harold Schafer.
Secretary Schafer enjoys the outdoors and his hobbies include bicycling, hiking, scuba diving and restoring classic automobiles. He and his wife, Nancy, have four children; Tom Schafer, Ellie Schafer and Eric Jones and Kari Jones; and eight grandchildren.
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