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Goettle might run for Congress

North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle is considering a run at national office, he told the Herald editorial board in a visit Thursday. His boss, Republican Gov. John Hoeven, is also mulling a run at the U.S. Senate after an announcemen...

North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle is considering a run at national office, he told the Herald editorial board in a visit Thursday.

His boss, Republican Gov. John Hoeven, is also mulling a run at the U.S. Senate after an announcement by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., that he would not seek another term in November.

Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., is also up for re-election, and it's conceivable Goettle would challenge him.

Goettle said his economic development record is pretty much Hoeven's economic development record the past several years.

Hoeven appointed him to head the Commerce Department on Nov. 30, 2005. Before that, he'd served in the Bush administration as counsel to the chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Board and chief of staff in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Mission Area.

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State Republicans believe the Democrats are more vulnerable with just one popular incumbent running this year, said Senate Majority Leader Bob Stenehjem, R-Bismarck.

With Hoeven enjoying broad popularity as governor, the GOP would then have the most level playing field they've seen in decades.

Stenehjem said he's talked to a lot of Republicans interested in challenging Pomeroy, but everyone is standing back to watch what Hoeven will do.

The governor said he'll decide if he'll run for the Senate in about two weeks.

Reach Tran at (701) 780-1248; (800) 477-6572, ext. 248; or send e-mail to ttran@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: JOHN HOEVEN
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