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N.D. GOP rallies around Hoeven

BISMARCK - As Republican supporters crowded into a Bismarck hotel Monday evening for the state's first district conventions, many already expected what was to come - and a blue-and-red poster adorning the room's podium confirmed it all: "Hoeven, U.S.

BISMARCK - As Republican supporters crowded into a Bismarck hotel Monday evening for the state's first district conventions, many already expected what was to come - and a blue-and-red poster adorning the room's podium confirmed it all: "Hoeven, U.S. Senate."

North Dakota GOP Chairman Gary Emineth said Hoeven's bid will "energize our base like we haven't done in a long time."

"It gives North Dakota Republicans a chance to quit acting like a minority (in Washington)," Emineth said, who added it's been 24 years since a North Dakota Republican served in the state's congressional delegation. "This gives us a chance to say we're taking back Washington."

National Republicans also rallied around the North Dakota governor.

"As a proven leader with a strong record of accomplishment in his home state, I know that Gov. Hoeven will help us restore the checks and balances in Washington and revitalize much-needed job creation in this country," National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman and Texas Sen. John Cornyn said in a statement. "This race provides a unique pick-up opportunity for the Republican Party in 2010, and I look forward to serving with John Hoeven after he is elected to the Senate next November."

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Meanwhile, Hoeven faces competition from another Republican candidate vying for the party's nomination, which will be made in March.

Paul Sorum, a Fargo architect and business consultant, previously announced his intentions to run and has criticized Hoeven for not representing conservative views. Sorum said Monday in Bismarck that Hoeven's announcement doesn't change his plans.

"I'm going to stay on my message to people that's really resonated - which is one about how important it is to address our financial and constitutional problems in Washington," said Sorum, who added that he has the experience to solve the "serious problems" facing the country.

Hoeven shrugged off Sorum's criticism about his conservatism.

"Our track record shows when it comes to strong, solid, fiscally sound conservative government, we're producing," Hoeven said. "We've shown we can produce results for the people of North Dakota."

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and the Herald are owned by Forum Communications Co.

Related Topics: JOHN HOEVEN
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