Nonpartisan League founder A. C. Townley had a simple strategy to elect NPL members to state office in North Dakota. It relied on getting members to ignore their old political tribalism while taking advantage of others. Townley figured out that he could make use of a very recent development, the primary election of party nominees, to take over both major parties. Townley’s thinking was, why try to start a third party when, using the primary system, he could more easily take over the old ones?