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IN THE MAIL: Problem-solver Hoeven gets job done

BISMARCK -- I was amused to hear of Sen. Tim Mathern, Democratic candidate for governor, asking Gov. John Hoeven to "clear the air" concerning his intentions to complete a third term as our state's governor, if so elected.

BISMARCK -- I was amused to hear of Sen. Tim Mathern, Democratic candidate for governor, asking Gov. John Hoeven to "clear the air" concerning his intentions to complete a third term as our state's governor, if so elected.

One must wonder what causes Mathern to have that train of thought in the first place.

I can understand his concern, as well the worry shown by other Democrats in our beloved state and interest in Hoeven's answer.

Hoeven's record speaks for itself and is a direct challenge to the state's congressional delegation and Democratic contentions about our present state of affairs. If this is not the case, why ask the question?

North Dakota has returned from the brink of debt, unemployment and out-migration that were so commonplace during the 1970s and 1980s while this state was under Democratic control. Republican leadership within the governor's office, the Legislature and statewide offices is clearly one of the reasons.

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Hoeven is also known throughout the U.S. as the most effective and popular state leader. Recently, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told the North Dakota Republican Party Convention in Fargo that Hoeven was a "rock star" among other governors in the nation.

From a Democratic Party standpoint, that's something to be feared, cornered, and neutralized.

Having said all this, one cannot deny the state's present challenges of continuing and expanding educational funding, fixing and re-establishing Workers Safety and Insurance's proper place or building new (and updating old) state infrastructure for our emerging renewable energy sector.

No, we must and shall address these issues. But compared to the challenges our state endured under Democratic leadership in the '70s and '80s, these are small potatoes.

We presently are arguing on how to spend the great surplus our state is enjoying, not on how much to cut state employees salaries. We are debating by how much to increase state school funding and not on what can be cut from their budgets.

Who knows, maybe even a tax cut is on the horizon for the people of our great state. But then again, maybe we still have some fixing to do.

Langley, an executive committee member of the North Dakota Republican Party, is chairman of the party's Region IV.

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